The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Deuteronomy 7:6-11
For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession. It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you-- for you were the fewest of all peoples. It was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath that he swore to your ancestors, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and who repays in their own person those who reject him. He does not delay but repays in their own person those who reject him. Therefore, observe diligently the commandment-- the statutes, and the ordinances-- that I am commanding you today.
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Titus 1:1-16
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that is in accordance with godliness, in the hope of eternal life that God, who never lies, promised before the ages began-- in due time he revealed his word through the proclamation with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior, To Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it. There are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision; they must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for sordid gain what it is not right to teach. It was one of them, their very own prophet, who said, "Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons." That testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply, so that they may become sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths or to commandments of those who reject the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure. Their very minds and consciences are corrupted. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
This is the Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in John 1:29-34
Glory be to Thee, O Lord
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.' I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel." And John testified, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God."
Here ends the Gospel lesson for today.
Glory be to Thee ,O Christ!
Psalm 37: Part I Noli aemulari
1 Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
2 For they shall soon wither like the grass, and like the green grass fade away.
3 Put your trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he shall give you your heart's desire.
5 Commit your way to the LORD and put your trust in him, and he will bring it to pass.
6 He will make your righteousness as clear as the light and your just dealing as the noonday.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.
8 Do not fret yourself over the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in evil schemes.
9 Refrain from anger, leave rage alone; do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.
10 For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait upon the LORD shall possess the land.
11 In a little while the wicked shall be no more; you shall search out their place, but they will not be there.
12 But the lowly shall possess the land; they will delight in abundance of peace.
13 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash at them with their teeth.
14 The Lord laughs at the wicked, because he sees that their day will come.
15 The wicked draw their sword and bend their bow to strike down the poor and needy, to slaughter those who are upright in their ways.
16 Their sword shall go through their own heart, and their bow shall be broken.
17 The little that the righteous has is better than great riches of the wicked.
18 For the power of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
Psalm 37: Part II Novit Dominus
19 The LORD cares for the lives of the godly, and their inheritance shall last for ever.
20 They shall not be ashamed in bad times, and in days of famine they shall have enough.
21 As for the wicked, they shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD, like the glory of the meadows, shall vanish; they shall vanish like smoke.
22 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous are generous in giving.
23 Those who are blessed by God shall possess the land, but those who are cursed by him shall be destroyed.
24 Our steps are directed by the LORD; he strengthens those in whose way he delights.
25 If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds them by the hand.
26 I have been young and now I am old, but never have I seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.
27 The righteous are always generous in their lending, and their children shall be a blessing.
28 Turn from evil, and do good, and dwell in the land for ever.
29 For the LORD loves justice; he does not forsake his faithful ones.
30 They shall be kept safe for ever, but the offspring of the wicked shall be destroyed.
31 The righteous shall possess the land and dwell in it for ever.
32 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and their tongue speaks what is right.
33 The law of their God is in their heart, and their footsteps shall not falter.
34 The wicked spy on the righteous and seek occasion to kill them.
35 The LORD will not abandon them to their hand, nor let them be found guilty when brought to trial.
36 Wait upon the LORD and keep his way; he will raise you up to possess the land, and when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.
37 I have seen the wicked in their arrogance, flourishing like a tree in full leaf.
38 I went by, and behold, they were not there; I searched for them, but they could not be found.
39 Mark those who are honest; observe the upright; for there is a future for the peaceable.
40 Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all; the future of the wicked is cut off.
41 But the deliverance of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
42 The LORD will help them and rescue them; he will rescue them from the wicked and deliver them, because they seek refuge in him.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.