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Book of Common Prayer

Daily Old and New Testament readings based on the Book of Common Prayer.
Duration: 861 days
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Version
Psalm 97

The Lord Brings Justice

97 The Lord is King!
    Tell the earth to celebrate
    and all islands to shout.
Dark clouds surround him,
    and his throne is supported
    by justice and fairness.
Fire leaps from his throne,
    destroying his enemies,
and his lightning is so bright
    that the earth sees it
    and trembles.
Mountains melt away like wax
    in the presence of the Lord
    of all the earth.

The heavens announce,
“The Lord brings justice!”
    Everyone sees God’s glory.
Those who brag about
the useless idols they worship
    are terribly ashamed,
    and all the false gods
    bow down to the Lord.

When the people of Zion
    and of the towns of Judah
    hear that God brings justice,
    they will celebrate.
The Lord rules the whole earth,
    and he is more glorious
    than all the false gods.

10 Love the Lord
    and hate evil!
God protects his loyal people
    and rescues them
    from violence.
11 If you obey and do right,
a light will show you the way
    and fill you with happiness.
12 You are the Lord’s people!
    So celebrate and praise
    the only God.

Psalm 99-100

Our Lord Is King

99 Our Lord, you are King!
    You rule from your throne
above the winged creatures,[a]
    as people tremble
    and the earth shakes.
You are praised in Zion,
    and you control all nations.
Only you are God!
    And your power alone,
    so great and fearsome,
    is worthy of praise.
You are our mighty King,[b]
    a lover of fairness,
    who sees that justice is done
    everywhere in Israel.
Our Lord and our God,
    we praise you
    and kneel down to worship you,
    the God of holiness!

Moses and Aaron were two
    of your priests.
Samuel was also one of those
    who prayed in your name,
    and you, our Lord,
    answered their prayers.
You spoke to them
from a thick cloud,
    and they obeyed your laws.

Our Lord and our God,
you answered their prayers
    and forgave their sins,
    but when they did wrong,
    you punished them.
We praise you, Lord God,
    and we worship you
at your sacred mountain.
    Only you are God!

(A psalm of praise.)

The Lord Is God

100 Shout praises to the Lord,
    everyone on this earth.
Be joyful and sing
as you come in
    to worship the Lord!

You know the Lord is God!
He created us,
    and we belong to him;
    we are his people,
    the sheep in his pasture.

Be thankful and praise the Lord
    as you enter his temple.
The Lord is good!
    His love and faithfulness
    will last forever.

Psalm 94-95

The Lord Punishes the Guilty

94 Lord God, you punish
    the guilty.
    Show what you are like
    and punish them now.
You judge the earth.
    Come and help us!
Pay back those proud people
    for what they have done.
    How long will the wicked
    celebrate and be glad?

All of those cruel people
    strut and boast,
    and they crush and wound
    your chosen nation, Lord.
They murder widows,
    foreigners, and orphans.
Then they say,
    “The Lord God of Jacob
    doesn’t see or know.”

Can’t you fools see?
    Won’t you ever learn?
    God gave us ears and eyes!
    Can’t he hear and see?
10 God instructs the nations
and gives knowledge to us all.
    Won’t he also correct us?
11 The Lord knows how useless
    our plans really are.

12 Our Lord, you bless everyone
    that you instruct and teach
    by using your Law.
13 You give them rest
    from their troubles,
    until a pit can be dug
    for the wicked.
14 You won’t turn your back
    on your chosen nation.
15 Justice and fairness
    will go hand in hand,
    and all who do right
    will follow along.

16 Who will stand up for me
    against those cruel people?
17 If you had not helped me, Lord,
    I would soon have gone
    to the land of silence.[a]
18 When I felt my feet slipping,
    you came with your love
    and kept me steady.
19 And when I was burdened
    with worries,
    you comforted me
    and made me feel secure.
20 But you are opposed
    to dishonest lawmakers
21     who gang up to murder
    innocent victims.

22 You, Lord God, are my fortress,
    that mighty rock[b]
    where I am safe.
23 You will pay back my enemies,
    and you will wipe them out
    for the evil they did.

Worship and Obey the Lord

95 Sing joyful songs to the Lord!
    Praise the mighty rock [c]
    where we are safe.
Come to worship him
with thankful hearts
    and songs of praise.

The Lord is the greatest God,
    king over all other gods.
He holds the deepest part
    of the earth in his hands,
    and the mountain peaks
    belong to him.
The ocean is the Lord’s
    because he made it,
    and with his own hands
    he formed the dry land.

Bow down and worship
    the Lord our Creator!
The Lord is our God,
    and we are his people,
    the sheep he takes care of
    in his own pasture.

Listen to God’s voice today!
Don’t be stubborn and rebel
    as your ancestors did
    at Meribah and Massah[d]
    out in the desert.
For forty years
they tested God
    and saw
    the things he did.
10 Then God got tired of them
    and said,
“You never show good sense,
    and you don’t understand
    what I want you to do.”
11 In his anger, God told them,
    “You people will never enter
    my place of rest.”

1 Samuel 6:1-16

After the sacred chest had been in Philistia for seven months,[a] the Philistines called in their priests and fortunetellers, and asked, “What should we do with this sacred chest? Tell us how to send it back where it belongs!”

“Don’t send it back without a gift,” the priests and fortunetellers answered. “Send along something to Israel’s God to make up for taking the chest in the first place. Then you will be healed, and you will find out why the Lord was causing you so much trouble.”

“What should we send?” the Philistines asked.

The priests and fortunetellers answered:

There are five Philistine rulers, and they all have the same disease that you have. So make five gold models of the sores and five gold models of the rats that are wiping out your crops. If you honor the God of Israel with this gift, maybe he will stop causing trouble for you and your gods and your crops. Don’t be like the Egyptians and their king. They were stubborn, but when Israel’s God was finished with them, they had to let Israel go.

Get a new cart and two cows that have young calves and that have never pulled a cart. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take the calves back to their barn. Then put the chest on the cart. Put the gold rats and sores into a bag and put it on the cart next to the chest. Then send it on its way.

Watch to see if the chest goes on up the road to the Israelite town of Beth-Shemesh. If it goes back to its own country, you will know that it was the Lord who made us suffer so badly. But if the chest doesn’t go back to its own country, then the Lord had nothing to do with the disease that hit us—it was simply bad luck.

10 The Philistines followed their advice. They hitched up the two cows to the cart, but they kept their calves in a barn. 11 Then they put the chest on the cart, along with the bag that had the gold rats and sores in it.

12 The cows went straight up the road toward Beth-Shemesh, mooing as they went. The Philistine rulers followed them until they got close to Beth-Shemesh.

13 The people of Beth-Shemesh were harvesting their wheat[b] in the valley. When they looked up and saw the chest, they were so happy that they stopped working and started celebrating.

14-15 The cows left the road and pulled the cart into a field that belonged to Joshua from Beth-Shemesh, and they stopped beside a huge rock. Some men from the tribe of Levi were there. So they took the chest off the cart and placed it on the rock, and then they did the same thing with the bag of gold rats and sores. A few other people chopped up the cart and made a fire. They killed the cows and burned them as sacrifices to the Lord. After that, they offered more sacrifices.

16 When the five rulers of the Philistines saw what had happened, they went back to Ekron that same day.

Acts 5:27-42

27 When the apostles were brought before the council, the high priest said to them, 28 “We told you plainly not to teach in the name of Jesus. But look what you have done! You have been teaching all over Jerusalem, and you are trying to blame us for his death.”

29 Peter and the apostles replied:

We don’t obey people. We obey God. 30 You killed Jesus by nailing him to a cross. But the God our ancestors worshiped raised him to life 31 and made him our Leader and Savior. Then God gave him a place at his right side,[a] so that the people of Israel would turn back to him and be forgiven. 32 We are here to tell you about all this, and so is the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to everyone who obeys God.

33 When the council members heard this, they became so angry that they wanted to kill the apostles. 34 But one of the members was the Pharisee Gamaliel, a highly respected teacher. He ordered the apostles to be taken out of the room for a little while. 35 Then he said to the council:

People of Israel, be careful what you do with these men. 36 Not long ago Theudas claimed to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him. But he was killed. All his followers were scattered, and that was the end of that.

37 Later, when the people of our nation were being counted, Judas from Galilee showed up. A lot of people followed him, but he was killed, and all his followers were scattered.

38 So I advise you to stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If what they are planning is something of their own doing, it will fail. 39 But if God is behind it, you cannot stop it anyway, unless you want to fight against God.

The council members agreed with what he said, 40 and they called the apostles back in. They had them beaten with a whip and warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus. Then they let them go.

41 The apostles left the council and were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus. 42 Every day they spent time in the temple and in one home after another. They never stopped teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

Luke 21:37-22:13

37 Jesus taught in the temple each day, and he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. 38 Everyone got up early and came to the temple to hear him teach.

A Plot To Kill Jesus

22 The Festival of Thin Bread, also called Passover, was near. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses were looking for a way to get rid of Jesus, because they were afraid of what the people might do. Then Satan entered the heart of Judas Iscariot,[a] who was one of the twelve apostles.

Judas went to talk with the chief priests and the officers of the temple police about how he could help them arrest Jesus. They were very pleased and offered to pay Judas some money. He agreed and started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus when the crowds were not around.

Jesus Eats with His Disciples

The day had come for the Festival of Thin Bread, and it was time to kill the Passover lambs. So Jesus said to Peter and John, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us to eat.”

But they asked, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”

10 Jesus told them, “As you go into the city, you will meet a man carrying a jar of water.[b] Follow him into the house 11 and say to the owner, ‘Our teacher wants to know where he can eat the Passover meal with his disciples.’ 12 The owner will take you upstairs and show you a large room ready for you to use. Prepare the meal there.”

13 Peter and John left. They found everything just as Jesus had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.