Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement
 

The Daily Readings for December 17, 2020

We've included both the Morning and Evening Psalms for the Daily Office; they are listed after the other readings. If you'd like to filter for a particular day's readings, you can do it at The Daily Readings Anytime.

Isaiah 9:18-10:4

For wickedness burned like a fire, consuming briers and thorns; it kindled the thickets of the forest, and they swirled upward in a column of smoke. Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts the land was burned, and the people became like fuel for the fire; no one spared another. They gorged on the right, but still were hungry, and they devoured on the left, but were not satisfied; they devoured the flesh of their own kindred; Manasseh devoured Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh, and together they were against Judah. For all this his anger has not turned away; his hand is stretched out still. Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees, who write oppressive statutes, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be your spoil, and that you may make the orphans your prey! What will you do on the day of punishment, in the calamity that will come from far away? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth, so as not to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain? For all this his anger has not turned away; his hand is stretched out still.

2 Peter 2:10-16

-- especially those who indulge their flesh in depraved lust, and who despise authority. Bold and willful, they are not afraid to slander the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not bring against them a slanderous judgment from the Lord. These people, however, are like irrational animals, mere creatures of instinct, born to be caught and killed. They slander what they do not understand, and when those creatures are destroyed, they also will be destroyed, suffering the penalty for doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their dissipation while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! They have left the straight road and have gone astray, following the road of Balaam son of Bosor, who loved the wages of doing wrong, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

Matthew 3:1-12

In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'" Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor' for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Morning Psalms

Psalm 50 Deus deorum

  The LORD, the God of gods, has spoken; *
he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
  Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God reveals himself in glory.
  Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before him there is a consuming flame, and round about him a raging storm.
  He calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of his people.
  Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me and sealed it with sacrifice.
  Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; *
for God himself is judge.
  Hear, O my people, and I will speak: "O Israel, I will bear witness against you; *
for I am God, your God.
  I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; *
your offerings are always before me.
  I will take no bull-calf from your stalls, *
nor he-goats out of your pens;
10   For all the beasts of the forest are mine, *
the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
11   I know every bird in the sky, *
and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
12   If I were hungry, I would not tell you, *
for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
13   Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls, *
or drink the blood of goats?
14   Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and make good your vows to the Most High.
15   Call upon me in the day of trouble; *
I will deliver you, and you shall honor me."
16   But to the wicked God says: *
"Why do you recite my statutes, and take my covenant upon your lips;
17   Since you refuse discipline, *
and toss my words behind your back?
18   When you see a thief, you make him your friend, *
and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
19   You have loosed your lips for evil, *
and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
20   You are always speaking evil of your brother *
and slandering your own mother's son.
21   These things you have done, and I kept still, *
and you thought that I am like you."
22   I have made my accusation; *
I have put my case in order before your eyes.
23   Consider this well, you who forget God, *
lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
24   Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; *
but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God."

Evening Psalms

Psalm 59 Eripe me de inimicis

  Rescue me from my enemies, O God; *
protect me from those who rise up against me.
  Rescue me from evildoers *
and save me from those who thirst for my blood.
  See how they lie in wait for my life, how the mighty gather together against me; *
not for any offense or fault of mine, O LORD.
  Not because of any guilt of mine *
they run and prepare themselves for battle.
  Rouse yourself, come to my side, and see; *
for you, LORD God of hosts, are Israel's God.
  Awake, and punish all the ungodly; *
show no mercy to those who are faithless and evil.
  They go to and fro in the evening; *
they snarl like dogs and run about the city.
  Behold, they boast with their mouths, and taunts are on their lips; *
"For who, they say, will hear us?"
  But you, O LORD, you laugh at them; *
you laugh all the ungodly to scorn.
10   My eyes are fixed on you, O my Strength; *
for you, O God, are my stronghold.
11   My merciful God comes to meet me; *
God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
12   Slay them, O God, lest my people forget; *
send them reeling by your might and put them down, O Lord our shield.
13   For the sins of their mouths, for the words of their lips, for the cursing and lies that they utter, *
let them be caught in their pride.
14   Make an end of them in your wrath; *
make an end of them, and they shall be no more.
15   Let everyone know that God rules in Jacob, *
and to the ends of the earth.
16   They go to and fro in the evening; *
they snarl like dogs and run about the city.
17   They forage for food, *
and if they are not filled, they howl.
18   For my part, I will sing of your strength; *
I will celebrate your love in the morning;
19   For you have become my stronghold, *
a refuge in the day of my trouble.
20   To you, O my Strength, will I sing; *
for you, O God, are my stronghold and my merciful God.

Psalm 60 Deus, repulisti nos

  O God, you have cast us off and broken us; *
you have been angry; oh, take us back to you again.
  You have shaken the earth and split it open; *
repair the cracks in it, for it totters.
  You have made your people know hardship; *
you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
  You have set up a banner for those who fear you, *
to be a refuge from the power of the bow.
  Save us by your right hand and answer us, *
that those who are dear to you may be delivered.
  God spoke from his holy place and said: *
"I will exult and parcel out Shechem; I will divide the valley of Succoth.
  Gilead is mine and Manasseh is mine; *
Ephraim is my helmet and Judah my scepter.
  Moab is my wash-basin, on Edom I throw down my sandal to claim it, *
and over Philistia will I shout in triumph."
  Who will lead me into the strong city? *
who will bring me to Edom?
10   Have you not cast us off, O God? *
you no longer go out, O God, with our armies.
11   Grant us your help against the enemy, *
for vain is the help of man.
12   With God we will do valiant deeds, *
and he shall tread our enemies under foot.

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.

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