The Old Testament Lesson
The Old Testament Lesson for today is taken from Jeremiah 26:1-16
At the beginning of the reign of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah, this word came from the LORD: Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the LORD; speak to them all the words that I command you; do not hold back a word. It may be that they will listen, all of them, and will turn from their evil way, that I may change my mind about the disaster that I intend to bring on them because of their evil doings. You shall say to them: Thus says the LORD: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to heed the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently-- though you have not heeded-- then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth. The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, "You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant'?" And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, "This man deserves the sentence of death because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears." Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, "It is the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will change his mind about the disaster that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, here I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears." Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God."
The Epistle Lesson
The Epistle Lesson for today is taken from Romans 11:1-12
I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life." But what is the divine reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace. What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written, "God gave them a sluggish spirit, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day." And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and keep their backs forever bent." So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their stumbling means riches for the world, and if their defeat means riches for Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
The Holy Gospel Lesson
The Holy Gospel is written in John 10:19-42
Again the Jews were divided because of these words. Many of them were saying, "He has a demon and is out of his mind. Why listen to him?" Others were saying, "These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?" At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly." Jesus answered, "I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father's hand. The Father and I are one." The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?" The Jews answered, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God." Jesus answered, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, you are gods'? If those to whom the word of God came were called 'gods'-- and the scripture cannot be annulled-- can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, 'I am God's Son'? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, "John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true." And many believed in him there.
Psalm 131 Domine, non est
1 O LORD, I am not proud; I have no haughty looks.
2 I do not occupy myself with great matters, or with things that are too hard for me.
3 But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother's breast; my soul is quieted within me.
4 O Israel, wait upon the LORD, from this time forth for evermore.
Psalm 132 Memento, Domine
1 LORD, remember David, and all the hardships he endured;
2 How he swore an oath to the LORD and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 I will not come under the roof of my house, nor climb up into my bed;
4 I will not allow my eyes to sleep, nor let my eyelids slumber;
5 Until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."
6 The ark! We heard it was in Ephratah; we found it in the fields of Jearim.
7 Let us go to God's dwelling place; let us fall upon our knees before his footstool."
8 Arise, O LORD, into your resting-place, you and the ark of your strength.
9 Let your priests be clothed with righteousness; let your faithful people sing with joy.
10 For your servant David's sake, do not turn away the face of your Anointed.
11 The LORD has sworn an oath to David; in truth, he will not break it:
12 A son, the fruit of your body will I set upon your throne.
13 If your children keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their children will sit upon your throne for evermore."
14 For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired her for his habitation:
15 This shall be my resting-place for ever; here will I dwell, for I delight in her.
16 I will surely bless her provisions, and satisfy her poor with bread.
17 I will clothe her priests with salvation, and her faithful people will rejoice and sing.
18 There will I make the horn of David flourish; I have prepared a lamp for my Anointed.
19 As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame; but as for him, his crown will shine."
Psalm 133 Ecce, quam bonum!
1 Oh, how good and pleasant it is, when brethren live together in unity!
2 It is like fine oil upon the head that runs down upon the beard,
3 Upon the beard of Aaron, and runs down upon the collar of his robe.
4 It is like the dew of Hermon that falls upon the hills of Zion.
5 For there the LORD has ordained the blessing: life for evermore.
Psalm 140 Eripe me, Domine
1 Deliver me, O LORD, from evildoers; protect me from the violent,
2 Who devise evil in their hearts and stir up strife all day long.
3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adder's poison is under their lips.
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who are determined to trip me up.
5 The proud have hidden a snare for me and stretched out a net of cords; they have set traps for me along the path.
6 I have said to the LORD, "You are my God; listen, O LORD, to my supplication.
7 O Lord GOD, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the desires of the wicked, O LORD, nor let their evil plans prosper.
9 Let not those who surround me lift up their heads; let the evil of their lips overwhelm them.
10 Let hot burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the mire, never to rise up again."
11 A slanderer shall not be established on the earth, and evil shall hunt down the lawless.
12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the poor and render justice to the needy.
13 Surely, the righteous will give thanks to your Name, and the upright shall continue in your sight.
Psalm 142 Voce mea ad Dominum
1 I cry to the LORD with my voice; to the LORD I make loud supplication.
2 I pour out my complaint before him and tell him all my trouble.
3 When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path; in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.
4 I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me; I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for me.
5 I cry out to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
6 Listen to my cry for help, for I have been brought very low; save me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
7 Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your Name; when you have dealt bountifully with me, the righteous will gather around me.
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.