Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement
 

The Daily Readings for December 18, 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 10:5-19

Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger-- the club in their hands is my fury! Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. But this is not what he intends, nor does he have this in mind; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations not a few. For he says: "Are not my commanders all kings? Is not Calno like Carchemish? Is not Hamath like Arpad? Is not Samaria like Damascus? As my hand has reached to the kingdoms of the idols whose images were greater than those of Jerusalem and Samaria, shall I not do to Jerusalem and her idols what I have done to Samaria and her images?" When the Lord has finished all his work on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, he will punish the arrogant boasting of the king of Assyria and his haughty pride. For he says: "By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom, for I have understanding; I have removed the boundaries of peoples, and have plundered their treasures; like a bull I have brought down those who sat on thrones. My hand has found, like a nest, the wealth of the peoples; and as one gathers eggs that have been forsaken, so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing, or opened its mouth, or chirped." Shall the ax vaunt itself over the one who wields it, or the saw magnify itself against the one who handles it? As if a rod should raise the one who lifts it up, or as if a staff should lift the one who is not wood! Therefore the Sovereign, the LORD of hosts, will send wasting sickness among his stout warriors, and under his glory a burning will be kindled, like the burning of fire. The light of Israel will become a fire, and his Holy One a flame; and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in one day. The glory of his forest and his fruitful land the LORD will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when an invalid wastes away. The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down.

2 Peter 2:17-22

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the deepest darkness has been reserved. For they speak bombastic nonsense, and with licentious desires of the flesh they entice people who have just escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for people are slaves to whatever masters them. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment that was passed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog turns back to its own vomit," and, "The sow is washed only to wallow in the mud."

Matthew 11:2-15

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!

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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