Holy Scriptures March 21 2023

ISAIAH 25:1-9

O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

For thou hast made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt.

Therefore strong peoples will glorify thee; cities of ruthless nations will fear thee.

For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the blast of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall, like heat in a dry place.

Thou dost subdue the noise of the aliens; as heat by the shade of a cloud, so the song of the ruthless is stilled.

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined.

And he will destroy on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.

He will swallow up death for ever, and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth; for the LORD has spoken.

It will be said on that day, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.

This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

GENESIS 9:8-17

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.

I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

When the bow is in the clouds, I will look upon it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”

PROVERBS 12:8-22

A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of perverse mind is despised.

Better is a man of humble standing who works for himself than one who plays the great man but lacks bread.

A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits has no sense.

The strong tower of the wicked comes to ruin, but the root of the righteous stands firm.

An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble.

From the fruit of his words a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent man ignores an insult.

He who speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Truthful lips endure for ever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.

Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan good have joy.

Holy Scriptures March 20 2023

ISAIAH 14:24-32

The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains trample him under foot; and his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden from their shoulder.

“This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.

For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?

In the year that King Ahaz died came this oracle: “Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you, that the rod which smote you is broken, for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder, and its fruit will be a flying serpent.

And the first-born of the poor will feed, and the needy lie down in safety; but I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant I will slay.

Wail, O gate; cry, O city; melt in fear, O Philistia, all of you!

For smoke comes out of the north, and there is no straggler in his ranks.

“What will one answer the messengers of the nation? “

The LORD has founded Zion, and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.

GENESIS 8:21-9:7

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered.

Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants,

I give you everything.

Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly on the earth and multiply in it.

For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

PROVERBS 11:19-12:6

He who is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die.

Men of perverse mind are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless ways are his delight.

Be assured, an evil man will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will be delivered.

Like a gold ring in a swine’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.

The desire of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath.

One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.

A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.

He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.

He who trusts in his riches will wither, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.

He who troubles his household will inherit wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, but lawlessness takes away lives.

If the righteous is requited on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices he condemns.

A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved.

A good wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.

The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are treacherous.

The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers men.

Holy Scriptures March 19

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 4:14-16; 5:1-6

BRETHREN, since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.

Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people.

And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, ‘Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee’; as he says also in another place, ‘Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek.’

MARK 8:34-38; 9:1

The Lord said: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?

For what can a man give in return for his life?

For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.

Holy Scriptures March 18 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 10:32-38

Brethren, recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.

For you had compassion on the prisoners, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.

For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.

“For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry; but my righteous one shall live by faith.

MARK 2:14-17

At that time, as Jesus passed on, he saw Levi the son of Alphaios sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, “Follow me.”

And he rose and followed him.

And as he sat at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him.

And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

Holy Scriptures March 17 2023

ISAIAH 13:2-13

On a bare hill raise a signal, cry aloud to them; wave the hand for them to enter the gates of the nobles.

I myself have commanded my consecrated ones, have summoned my mighty men to execute my anger, my proudly exulting ones.

Hark, a tumult on the mountains as of a great multitude!

Hark, an uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathering together!

The LORD of hosts is mustering a host for battle.

They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the LORD and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole earth.

Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!

Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every man’s heart will melt, and they will be dismayed.

Pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in travail.

They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.

Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.

For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising and the moon will not shed its light.

I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless.

I will make men more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir.

Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.

GENESIS 8:4-21

And in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat.

And the waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.

At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made, and sent forth a raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth.

Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth.

So he put forth his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him.

He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came back to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.

Then he waited another seven days, and sent forth the dove; and she did not return to him any more.

In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.

In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.

Then God said to Noah, “Go forth from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.

Bring forth with you every living thing that is with you of all flesh – birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth – that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply upon the earth.”

So Noah went forth, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.

And every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves upon the earth, went forth by families out of the ark.

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done.

PROVERBS 10:31-11:12

The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off.

The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.

A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.

The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.

The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.

The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.

When the wicked dies, his hope perishes, and the expectation of the godless comes to nought.

The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked gets into it instead.

With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.

When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices; and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.

By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

He who belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.

Holy Scriptures March 16 2023

ISAIAH 11:10-12:2

Thus says the LORD: In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples; him shall the nations seek, and his dwellings shall be glorious.

In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant which is left of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.

He will raise an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and those who harass Judah shall be cut off;

Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.

But they shall swoop down upon the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east.

They shall put forth their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them.

And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt; and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching wind, and smite it into seven channels that men may cross dryshod.

And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant which is left of his people, as there was for Israel when they came up from the land of Egypt.

You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to thee, O LORD, for though thou wast angry with me, thy anger turned away, and thou didst comfort me.”

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”

GENESIS 7:11-8:3

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.

And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

On the very same day Noah and his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them entered the ark, they and every beast according to its kind, and all the cattle according to their kinds, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth according to its kind, and every bird according to its kind, every bird of every sort.

They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.

And they that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in.

The flood continued forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.

And the waters prevailed so mightily upon the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered; the waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, birds, cattle, beasts, all swarming creatures that swarm upon the earth, and every man; everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.

He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth.

Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark.

And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters receded from the earth continually.

At the end of a hundred and fifty days the waters had abated.

PROVERBS 10:1-22

A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.

The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

A son who gathers in summer is prudent, but a son who sleeps in harvest brings shame.

Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.

The wise of heart will heed commandments, but a prating fool will come to ruin.

He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.

He who winks the eye causes trouble, but he who boldly reproves makes peace.

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

On the lips of him who has understanding wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.

Wise men lay up knowledge, but the babbling of a fool brings ruin near.

A rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the poverty of the poor is their ruin.

The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin.

He who heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof goes astray.

He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who utters slander is a fool.

When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent.

The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; the mind of the wicked is of little worth.

The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.

The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

Holy Scriptures March 15 2023

ISAIAH 10:12-20

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 men gather eggs that have been forsaken so I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved a wing, or opened the mouth, or chirped.”

Shall the axe vaunt itself over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it?

As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!

Therefore the Lord, 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 of his fruitful land the LORD will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when a sick man wastes away.

The remnant of the trees of his forest will be so few that a child can write them down.

In that day the remnant of Israel and the survivors of the house of Jacob will no more lean upon him that smote them, but will lean upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

GENESIS 7:6-9

Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth.

And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark, to escape the waters of the flood.

Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah.

PROVERBS 9:12-18

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

A foolish woman is noisy; she is wanton and knows no shame.

She sits at the door of her house, she takes a seat on the high places of the town, calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

And to him who is without sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”

But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

Holy Scriptures March 14 2023

ISAIAH 9:9-10:4

Thus says the LORD: “And all the people will know, Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, who say in pride and in arrogance of heart: ‘The bricks have fallen, but we will build with dressed stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will put cedars in their place.'”

So the LORD raises adversaries against them, and stirs up their enemies.

The Syrians on the east and the Philistines on the west devour Israel with open mouth.

For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still.

The people did not turn to him who smote them, nor seek the LORD of hosts.

So the LORD cut off from Israel head and tail, palm branch and reed in one day – the elder and honored man is the head, and the prophet who teaches lies is the tail; for those who lead this people lead them astray, and those who are led by them are swallowed up.

Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men, and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows; for every one is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly.

For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still.

For wickedness burns like a fire, it consumes briers and thorns; it kindles the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts the land is burned, and the people are like fuel for the fire; no man spares his brother.

They snatch on the right, but are still hungry, and they devour on the left, but are not satisfied; each devours his neighbor’s flesh, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Ephraim, Manasseh, and together they are against Judah.

For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still.

Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!

What will you do on the day of punishment, in the storm which will come from afar?

To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?

Nothing remains but to crouch among the prisoners or fall among the slain.

For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still.

GENESIS 7:1-5

Then the LORD said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation.

Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate; and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive upon the face of all the earth.

For in seven days I will send rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.”

And Noah did all that the LORD had commanded him.

PROVERBS 8:32-9:11

And now, my sons, listen to me: happy are those who keep my ways.

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

Happy is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.

For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD; but he who misses me injures himself; all who hate me love death.”

Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table.

She has sent out her maids to call from the highest places in the town, Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”

To him who is without sense she says, Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.

Leave simpleness, and live, and walk in the way of insight.”

He who corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.

Holy Scriptures March 13 2023

ISAIAH 8:13-9:7

But the LORD of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

And he will become a sanctuary, and a stone of offense, and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

And many shall stumble thereon; they shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.

“ Bind up the testimony, seal the teaching among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him.

Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.

And when they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the wizards who chirp and mutter, ” should not a people consult their God?

Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?

To the teaching and to the testimony! Surely for this word which they speak there is no dawn.

They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry; and when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will curse their king and their God, and turn their faces upward;

and they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish;

and they will be thrust into thick darkness.

But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish.

In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased its joy; they rejoice before thee as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, thou hast broken as on the day of Midian.

For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

GENESIS 6:9-22

These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation;

Noah walked with God.

And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence.

And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.

And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh; for the earth is filled with violence through them; behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch.

This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above; and set the door of the ark in its side; make it with lower, second, and third decks.

For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall die.

But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.

Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you, to keep them alive.

Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up; and it shall serve as food for you and for them.”

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

PROVERBS 8:1-21

Does not wisdom call, does not understanding raise her voice?

On the heights beside the way, in the paths she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the sons of men.

O simple ones, learn prudence;

O foolish men, pay attention. Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right; for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.

They are all straight to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge.

Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.

I, wisdom, dwell in prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.

The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

I have counsel and sound wisdom, I have insight, I have strength. By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; by me princes rule, and nobles govern the earth.

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity.

My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Holy Scriptures March 12 023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 1:10-14; 2:1-3

IN THE BEGINNING, Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of thy hands;

they will perish, but thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed.

But thou art the same, and thy years will never end.”

But to what angel has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet?”

Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?

Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?

It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him.

MARK 2:1-12

At that time, Jesus entered Capernaum and it was reported that he was at home.

And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.

And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.

And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.

And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak thus? It is a blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question thus in your hearts?

Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven, ‘ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk?

But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”-he said to the paralytic-“I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.”

And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!

Holy Scriptures March 11 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 3:12-16

BRETHREN, take care lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today, ‘ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end, while it is said, ‘Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’

Who were they that heard and yet were rebellious?

Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses?

MARK 1:35-44

At that time, Jesus went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed.

And Simon and those who were with him pursued him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.”

And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out.”

And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.”

And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to a priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

Holy Scriptures March 10 2023

ISAIAH 7:1-14

In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but they could not conquer it.

When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim, ” his heart and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

And the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go forth to meet Ahaz, you and Shearjashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, and say to him, ‘Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah.

Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it, ” thus says the Lord GOD: It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass.

For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin.

(Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken to pieces so that it will no longer be a people.)

And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.

If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.’

Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”

But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”

And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

GENESIS 5:32-6:8

After Noah was five hundred years old, Noah became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

When men began to multiply on the face of the ground, and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair; and they took to wife such of them as they chose.

Then the LORD said, “My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh, but his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.”

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.

These were the mighty men that were of old, the men of renown. The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.

So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the ground, man and beast and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

PROVERBS 6:20-7:1

My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart always; tie them about your neck.

When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.

For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adventuress.

Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes; for a harlot may be hired for a loaf of bread, but an adulteress stalks a man’s very life.

Can a man carry fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?

Or can one walk upon hot coals and his feet not be scorched?

So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished.

Do not men despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry?

And if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold; he will give all the goods of his house.

He who commits adultery has no sense; he who does it destroys himself.

Wounds and dishonor will he get, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge.

He will accept no compensation, nor be appeased though you multiply gifts.

My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you.

Holy Scriptures March 9 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 12:1-10

BRETHREN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely,

and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,

looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,

despising the shame,

and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons?

‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him.

For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.

‘It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father.

MATTHEW 20:1-16

The Lord said this parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went.

Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same.

And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’

And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.

Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’

But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you, and go;

I choose to give to this last as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?

Or is your eye evil because I am good?’

2So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Holy Scriptures March 8 2023

ISAIAH 5:16-25

But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.

Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture, fatlings and kids shall feed among the ruins.

Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes, who say: “Let him make haste, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and let it come, that we may know it!”

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!

Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!

Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and smote them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets.

For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still.

GENESIS 4:16-26

Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.

To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methushael, and Methushael the father of Lamech. And Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.

Zillah bore Tubalcain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron.

The sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, hearken to what I say: I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me.

If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, for Cain slew him.”

To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time men began to call upon the name of the LORD.

PROVERBS 5:15-6:3

Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.

Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you.

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely hind, a graceful doe.

Let her affection fill you at all times with delight, be infatuated always with her love.

Why should you be infatuated, my son, with a loose woman and embrace the bosom of an adventuress?

For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and he watches all his paths.

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is caught in the toils of his sin.

He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is lost.

My son, if you have become surety for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger; if you are snared in the utterance of your lips, caught in the words of your mouth; then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into your neighbor’s power: go, hasten, and importune your neighbor.

Holy Scriptures March 7 2023

ISAIAH 5:7-16

Thus says the Lord: For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry!

Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land.

The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing: “Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant. For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”

“Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening till wine inflames them!

They have lyre and harp, timbrel and flute and wine at their feasts; but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands.

Therefore my people go into exile for want of knowledge; their honored men are dying of hunger, and their multitude is parched with thirst.

Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure, and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude go down, her throng and he who exults in her.

Man is bowed down, and men are brought low, and the eyes of the haughty are humbled.

But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.

GENESIS 4:8-15

Cain said to Abel his brother, “Let us go out to the field.”

And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?”

He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.

And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”

Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me this day away from the ground; and from thy face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me.”

Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him.

PROVERBS 5:1-15

My son, be attentive to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge.

For the lips of a loose woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; she does not take heed to the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.

And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.

Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house; lest you give your honor to others and your years to the merciless; lest strangers take their fill of your strength, and your labors go to the house of an alien;

and at the end of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed, and you say, “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof!

I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.

I was at the point of utter ruin in the assembled congregation.” Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.”

Holy Scriptures March 6 2023

ISAIAH 4:2-5:7

In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel.

And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, every one who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.

Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy and a pavilion.

It will be for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

Let me sing for my beloved a love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.

H e digged it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vones; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard.

What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it?

When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?

And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured;

I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.

I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry!

GENESIS 3:21-4:7

And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them.

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”-

therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken.

He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.”

And again, she bore his brother Abel.

Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground.

In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.

And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.

So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

PROVERBS 3:34-4:22

Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favor.

The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight; for I give you good precepts: do not forsake my teaching.

When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me, and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Get wisdom; get insight. Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.

Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her.

She will place on your head a fair garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many.

I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness.

When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble.

Keep hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.

Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil men.

Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.

For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made some one stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.

Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.

Holy Scriptures March 5 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 11:24-26, 32-40

Brethren, by faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

He considered abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he looked to the reward.

And what more shall I say?

For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — who through faith

conquered kingdoms,

enforced justice,

received promises,

stopped the mouths of lions,

quenched raging fire,

escaped the edge of the sword,

won strength out of weakness,

became mighty in war,

put foreign enemies to flight.

Women received their dead by resurrection.

Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.

Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment.

They were stoned,

they were sawn in two,

they were killed with the sword;

they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated

— of whom the world was not worthy

— wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

JOHN 1:43-51

At that time, Jesus decided to go to Galilee.

And he found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.

Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and he said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”

Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”

Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”

Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”

Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe?

You shall see greater things than these.”

And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

Holy Scriptures March 4 2023

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO TIMOTHY 2:1-10

Timothy, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him.

An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.

Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal.

But the word of God is not fettered.

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.

MARK 2:23-28; 3:1-5

At that time, Jesus was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.

And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”

And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”

And he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.

And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.

And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come here.”

And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”

But they were silent.

And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch it out, ” and his hand was restored.

Holy Scriptures March 3 2023

ISAIAH 3:1-14

For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah stay and staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water; the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms.

And I will make boys their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

And the people will oppress one another, every man his fellow and every man his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the base fellow to the honorable.

When a man takes hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying: “You have a mantle; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule”;

in that day he will speak out, saying: “I will not be a healer; in my house there is neither bread nor mantle; you shall not make me leader of the people.”

For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen; because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence.

Their partiality witnesses against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom, they do not hide it.

Woe to them!

For they have brought evil upon themselves. Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.

Woe to the wicked!

It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have done shall be done to him.

My people — children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.

O my people, your leaders mislead you, and confuse the course of your paths.

The Lord has taken his place to contend, he stands to judge his people.

The Lord enters into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: “It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

GENESIS 2:20-3:20

The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him.

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.

And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'”

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

The man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate.”

The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it, ‘ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.

In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

PROVERBS 3:19-34

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;

by understanding he established the heavens;

by his knowledge the deeps broke forth, and the clouds drop down the dew.

My son, keep sound wisdom and discretion; let them not escape from your sight, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.

Then you will walk on your way securely and your foot will not stumble.

If you sit down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Do not be afraid of sudden panic, or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” — when you have it with you.

Do not plan evil against your neighbor who dwells trustingly beside you.

Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm.

Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways; for the perverse man is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.

The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous.

Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favor.

Holy Scriptures March 2 2023

ISAIAH 2:11-21

The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty,

against all that is lifted up and high;

against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up;

and against all the oaks of Bashan;

against all the high mountains, and against all the lofty hills;

against every high tower,

and against every fortified wall;

against all the ships of Tarshish,

and against all the beautiful craft.

And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

And the idols shall utterly pass away. And men shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord,

and from the glory of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.

In that day men will cast forth their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship,

to the moles and to the bats,

to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs,

from before the terror of the Lord,

and from the glory of his majesty,

when he rises to terrify the earth.

GENESIS 2:4-19

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up —

for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground;

but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground —

then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;

and man became a living being.

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

And out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.

The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which flows around the whole land of Hav’ilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.

The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which flows around the whole land of Cush.

And the name of the third river is Tigris, which flows east of Assyria.

And the fourth river is the Euphra’tes.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

PROVERBS 3:1-18

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare will they give you.

Let not loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce;

then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding, for the gain from it is better than gain from silver and its profit better than gold.

She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called happy.

Holy Scriptures March 1 2023

ISAIAH 2:3-11

Thus say the people: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”

For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord. For thou hast rejected thy people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of diviners from the east and of soothsayers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with foreigners.

Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots.

Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made.

So man is humbled, and men are brought low — forgive them not!

Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the glory of his majesty.

The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.

GENESIS 1:24-2:3

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.”

And it was so.

And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind.

And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.”

And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.

So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation.

PROVERBS 2:1-22

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;

yes, if you cry out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,

if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his saints.

Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

discretion will watch over you;

understanding will guard you;

delivering you from the way of evil,

from men of perverted speech,

who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,

who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil;

men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.

You will be saved from the loose woman, from the adventuress with her smooth words, who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God;

for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the shades;

none who go to her come back nor do they regain the paths of life.

So you will walk in the way of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.

For the upright will inhabit the land, and men of integrity will remain in it;

but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.