Daily reading for Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Ps. 45; Ps. 47, 48; Zech. 2:1–13; Rev. 3:14–22; Matt. 24:32–44 (New Revised Standard Version)
Ode for a Royal Wedding
To the leader: according to Lilies. Of the Korahites. A Maskil. A love song.
1 My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2 You are the most handsome of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one,
in your glory and majesty.
4 In your majesty ride on victoriously
for the cause of truth and to defend[a] the right;
let your right hand teach you dread deeds.
5 Your arrows are sharp
in the heart of the king’s enemies;
the peoples fall under you.
6 Your throne, O God,[b] endures forever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
7 you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hear, O daughter, consider and incline your ear;
forget your people and your father’s house,
11 and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him;
12 the people[c] of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts,
the richest of the people 13 with all kinds of wealth.
The princess is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes;[d]
14 in many-colored robes she is led to the king;
behind her the virgins, her companions, follow.
15 With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.
16 In the place of ancestors you, O king,[e] shall have sons;
you will make them princes in all the earth.
17 I will cause your name to be celebrated in all generations;
therefore the peoples will praise you forever and ever.
God’s Rule over the Nations
To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.
1 Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
2 For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome,
a great king over all the earth.
3 He subdued peoples under us,
and nations under our feet.
4 He chose our heritage for us,
the pride of Jacob whom he loves.Selah
5 God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the king of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm.[a]
8 God is king over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted.
The Glory and Strength of Zion
A Song. A Psalm of the Korahites.
1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.
3 Within its citadels God
has shown himself a sure defense.
4 Then the kings assembled,
they came on together.
5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
they were in panic, they took to flight;
6 trembling took hold of them there,
pains as of a woman in labor,
7 as when an east wind shatters
the ships of Tarshish.
8 As we have heard, so have we seen
in the city of the Lord of hosts,
in the city of our God,
which God establishes forever.Selah
9 We ponder your steadfast love, O God,
in the midst of your temple.
10 Your name, O God, like your praise,
reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with victory.
11 Let Mount Zion be glad,
let the towns[b] of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, go all around it,
count its towers,
13 consider well its ramparts;
go through its citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
14 that this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will be our guide forever.
Third Vision: The Man with a Measuring Line
2 [a] I looked up and saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 Then I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.” 3 Then the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him, 4 and said to him, “Run, say to that young man: Jerusalem shall be inhabited like villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and animals in it. 5 For I will be a wall of fire all around it, says the Lord, and I will be the glory within it.”
Interlude: An Appeal to the Exiles
6 Up, up! Flee from the land of the north, says the Lord; for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven, says the Lord. 7 Up! Escape to Zion, you that live with daughter Babylon. 8 For thus said the Lord of hosts (after his glory[b] sent me) regarding the nations that plundered you: Truly, one who touches you touches the apple of my eye.[c] 9 See now, I am going to raise[d] my hand against them, and they shall become plunder for their own slaves. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me. 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For lo, I will come and dwell in your midst, says the Lord. 11 Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. 12 The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
13 Be silent, all people, before the Lord; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
The Message to Laodicea
14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin[a] of God’s creation:
15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”
- Revelation 3:14 Or beginning
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he[a] is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
The Necessity for Watchfulness
36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[b] but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. 42 Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day[c] your Lord is coming. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.