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The Daily Readings for December 17, 2021

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.

Zechariah 7:8-8:8

The word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying: Thus says the LORD of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. But they refused to listen, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears in order not to hear. They made their hearts adamant in order not to hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. Just as, when I called, they would not hear, so, when they called, I would not hear, says the LORD of hosts, and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and a pleasant land was made desolate. The word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying: Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the LORD: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts shall be called the holy mountain. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the LORD of hosts? Thus says the LORD of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.

Revelation 5:6-14

Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne. When he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. They sing a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation; you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth." Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, "To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the elders fell down and worshiped.

Matthew 25:14-30

"For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Morning Psalms

Psalm 40 Expectans, expectavi

  I waited patiently upon the LORD; *
he stooped to me and heard my cry.
  He lifted me out of the desolate pit, out of the mire and clay; *
he set my feet upon a high cliff and made my footing sure.
  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; *
many shall see, and stand in awe, and put their trust in the LORD.
  Happy are they who trust in the LORD! *
they do not resort to evil spirits or turn to false gods.
  Great things are they that you have done, O LORD my God! how great your wonders and your plans for us! *
there is none who can be compared with you.
  Oh, that I could make them known and tell them! *
but they are more than I can count.
  In sacrifice and offering you take no pleasure *
(you have given me ears to hear you);
  Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required, *
and so I said, "Behold, I come.
  In the roll of the book it is written concerning me: *
'I love to do your will, O my God; your law is deep in my heart.'"
10   I proclaimed righteousness in the great congregation; *
behold, I did not restrain my lips; and that, O LORD, you know.
11   Your righteousness have I not hidden in my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your deliverance; *
I have not concealed your love and faithfulness from the great congregation.
12   You are the LORD; do not withhold your compassion from me; *
let your love and your faithfulness keep me safe for ever,
13   For innumerable troubles have crowded upon me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see; *
they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails me.
14   Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; *
O LORD, make haste to help me.
15   Let them be ashamed and altogether dismayed who seek after my life to destroy it; *
let them draw back and be disgraced who take pleasure in my misfortune.
16   Let those who say "Aha!" and gloat over me be confounded, *
because they are ashamed.
17   Let all who seek you rejoice in you and be glad; *
let those who love your salvation continually say, "Great is the LORD!"
18   Though I am poor and afflicted, *
the Lord will have regard for me.
19   You are my helper and my deliverer; *
do not tarry, O my God.

Psalm 54 Deus, in nomine

  Save me, O God, by your Name; *
in your might, defend my cause.
  Hear my prayer, O God; *
give ear to the words of my mouth.
  For the arrogant have risen up against me, and the ruthless have sought my life, *
those who have no regard for God.
  Behold, God is my helper; *
it is the Lord who sustains my life.
  Render evil to those who spy on me; *
in your faithfulness, destroy them.
  I will offer you a freewill sacrifice *
and praise your Name, O LORD, for it is good.
  For you have rescued me from every trouble, *
and my eye has seen the ruin of my foes.

Evening Psalms

Psalm 51 Miserere mei, Deus

  Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *
in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
  Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin.
  For I know my transgressions, *
and my sin is ever before me.
  Against you only have I sinned *
and done what is evil in your sight.
  And so you are justified when you speak *
and upright in your judgment.
  Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
a sinner from my mother's womb.
  For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
and will make me understand wisdom secretly.
  Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
  Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
that the body you have broken may rejoice.
10   Hide your face from my sins *
and blot out all my iniquities.
11   Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
12   Cast me not away from your presence *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
13   Give me the joy of your saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
14   I shall teach your ways to the wicked, *
and sinners shall return to you.
15   Deliver me from death, O God, *
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness, O God of my salvation.
16   Open my lips, O Lord, *
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
17   Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, *
but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.
18   The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
19   Be favorable and gracious to Zion, *
and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
20   Then you will be pleased with the appointed sacrifices, with burnt-offerings and oblations; *
then shall they offer young bullocks upon your altar.

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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