On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah son of Iddo; and Zechariah said, In the night I saw a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen; and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. Then I said, "What are these, my lord?" The angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what they are." So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, "They are those whom the LORD has sent to patrol the earth." Then they spoke to the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees, "We have patrolled the earth, and lo, the whole earth remains at peace." Then the angel of the LORD said, "O LORD of hosts, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which you have been angry these seventy years?" Then the LORD replied with gracious and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. So the angel who talked with me said to me, Proclaim this message: Thus says the LORD of hosts; I am very jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. And I am extremely angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they made the disaster worse. Therefore, thus says the LORD, I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion; my house shall be built in it, says the LORD of hosts, and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. Proclaim further: Thus says the LORD of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity; the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.
John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. I, John, your brother who share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patient endurance, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, "Write in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamum, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." Then I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades. Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this. As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but it finds none. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' When it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So will it be also with this evil generation." While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, "Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you." But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
Psalm 41 Beatus qui intelligit
1 Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.
2 The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive, so that they may be happy in the land; he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and ministers to them in their illness.
4 I said, "LORD, be merciful to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you."
5 My enemies are saying wicked things about me: "When will he die, and his name perish?"
6 Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; their heart collects false rumors; they go outside and spread them.
7 All my enemies whisper together about me and devise evil against me.
8 A deadly thing, they say, has fastened on him; he has taken to his bed and will never get up again.
9 Even my best friend, whom I trusted, who broke bread with me, has lifted up his heel and turned against me.
10 But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, and I shall repay them.
11 By this I know you are pleased with me, that my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 In my integrity you hold me fast, and shall set me before your face for ever.
13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, from age to age. Amen. Amen.
Psalm 52 Quid gloriaris?
1 You tyrant, why do you boast of wickedness against the godly all day long?
2 You plot ruin; your tongue is like a sharpened razor, O worker of deception.
3 You love evil more than good and lying more than speaking the truth.
4 You love all words that hurt, O you deceitful tongue.
5 Oh, that God would demolish you utterly, topple you, and snatch you from your dwelling, and root you out of the land of the living!
6 The righteous shall see and tremble, and they shall laugh at him, saying,
7 This is the one who did not take God for a refuge, but trusted in great wealth and relied upon wickedness.
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9 I will give you thanks for what you have done and declare the goodness of your Name in the presence of the godly.
Psalm 44 Deus, auribus
1 We have heard with our ears, O God, our forefathers have told us, the deeds you did in their days, in the days of old.
2 How with your hand you drove the peoples out and planted our forefathers in the land; how you destroyed nations and made your people flourish.
3 For they did not take the land by their sword, nor did their arm win the victory for them; but your right hand, your arm, and the light of your countenance, because you favored them.
4 You are my King and my God; you command victories for Jacob.
5 Through you we pushed back our adversaries; through your Name we trampled on those who rose up against us.
6 For I do not rely on my bow, and my sword does not give me the victory.
7 Surely, you gave us victory over our adversaries and put those who hate us to shame.
8 Every day we gloried in God, and we will praise your Name for ever.
9 Nevertheless, you have rejected and humbled us and do not go forth with our armies.
10 You have made us fall back before our adversary, and our enemies have plundered us.
11 You have made us like sheep to be eaten and have scattered us among the nations.
12 You are selling your people for a trifle and are making no profit on the sale of them.
13 You have made us the scorn of our neighbors, a mockery and derision to those around us.
14 You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughing-stock among the peoples.
15 My humiliation is daily before me, and shame has covered my face;
16 Because of the taunts of the mockers and blasphemers, because of the enemy and avenger.
17 All this has come upon us; yet we have not forgotten you, nor have we betrayed your covenant.
18 Our heart never turned back, nor did our footsteps stray from your path;
19 Though you thrust us down into a place of misery, and covered us over with deep darkness.
20 If we have forgotten the Name of our God, or stretched out our hands to some strange god,
21 Will not God find it out? for he knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Indeed, for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Awake, O Lord! why are you sleeping? Arise! do not reject us for ever.
24 Why have you hidden your face and forgotten our affliction and oppression?
25 We sink down into the dust; our body cleaves to the ground.
26 Rise up, and help us, and save us, for the sake of your steadfast love.
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.