Holy Scriptures January 17 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 13:17-21

Brethren, obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account.

Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.

I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen.

LUKE 6:17-23

At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases;

and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.

And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.

Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!

Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”

Holy Scriptures January 16 2023

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 12:1-11

About that time, Herod the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church.

He killed James the brother of John with the sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.

And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.

So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church.

The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.

And the angel said to him, “Wrap your mantle around you and follow me.”

And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.

When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city.

It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him.

And Peter came to himself, and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.

JOHN 21:14-25

At that time, Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

And he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”

He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”

He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?”

And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.”

(This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.)

And after this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”

Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”

The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Amen.

Holy Scriptures January 15 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS 3:4-11

Brethren, when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

On account of these the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.

In these you once walked, when you lived in them.

But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

LUKE 17:12-19

At that time, as Jesus entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’s feet, giving him thanks.

And as they went they were cleansed.

Then said Jesus: “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

Now he was a Samaritan.

And he said to him: “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

Holy Scriptures January 14 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS 6:10-17

Brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand, therefore,

having girded your loins with truth, and

having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and

having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace;

besides all these,

taking the shield of faith,

with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.

And take the helmet of salvation, and

the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

MATTHEW 4:1-11

At that time, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.

And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, ‘ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”

Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.

Holy Scriptures January 13 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 3:23-29; 4:1-5

Brethren, before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed.

So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father.

So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe.

But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

LUKE 20:1-8

At that time, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to Him, ‘Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.’

He answered them, ‘I also will ask you a question; now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?’

And they discussed it with one another, saying, ‘If we say, ‘From heaven, ‘ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men, ‘ all the people will stone us; for they are convinced that John was a prophet.’

So they answered that they did not know whence it was. And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.’

Holy Scriptures January 12 2023

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 18:22-28

IN THOSE DAYS, when Paul had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch.

After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesos. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the scriptures.

He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately.

And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him.

When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

JOHN 10:39-42

At that time, the Jews tried to arrest Jesus, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained.

And many came to him; and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.”

And many believed in him there.

Holy Scriptures January 11 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 13:7-16

Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their lives, and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents.

We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.

Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured.

For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come.

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

LUKE 4:1-15

At that time Jesus returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil.

And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'”

And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I will give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’

And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you, ‘ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.

And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Holy Scriptures January 10 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS 4:7-13

BRETHREN, grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (in saying, “He ascended, ” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?

He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

And his gifts were that

some should be apostles,

some prophets,

some evangelists,

some pastors and teachers,

to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

LUKE 3:19-22

At that time, Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by John for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, added this to them all, that he shut up John in prison.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened,

and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove,

and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Holy Scriptures January 9 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 1:9-15

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Holy Scriptures January 8 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS 4:7-13

BRETHREN, grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (in saying, “He ascended, ” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)

And his gifts were that some should be apostles,

some prophets,

some evangelists,

some pastors and teachers,

to equip the saints for the work of ministry,

for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

MATTHEW 4:12-17

At that time, when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee;

and leaving Nazareth he went and dwelt in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Holy Scriptures January 7 2023

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 19:1-8

In those days, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus.

There he found some disciples.

And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

And they said, “No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?”

They said, “Into John’s baptism.”

And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”

On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

There were about twelve of them in all.

And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God.

JOHN 1:29-34

At that time, John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.’

I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.’

And John bore witness, ‘I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.

I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.’

Holy Scriptures January 6 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO TITUS 2:11-14; 3:4-7

TITUS, my son, the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world,

awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

MATTHEW 3:13-17

At that time, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.

John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

Then he consented.

And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him;

and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.

Holy Scriptures January 5 2023

ST. PAUL’S FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 9:19-27

BRETHREN, though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more.

To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews;

to those under the law I became as one under the law – though not being myself under the law – that I might win those under the law.

To those outside the law I became as one outside the law – not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ – that I might win those outside the law.

To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak.

I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize?

So run that you may obtain it.

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.

They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

LUKE 3:1-18

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness;

and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

He said therefore to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father”; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

And the multitudes asked him, “What then shall we do?”

And he answered them, “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”

Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”

And he said to them, “Collect no more than is appointed you.”

Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, “I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.

Holy Scriptures January 4 2023

ST. PAUL’S FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 4:9-16

Brethren, God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men.

We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ.

We are weak, but you are strong.

You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are ill-clad and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands.

When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we try to conciliate;

we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the off-scouring of all things.

I do not write this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers.

For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

JOHN 1:18-28

No one has ever seen God; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.

And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

He confessed, he did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

They said to him then, “Who are you? let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord, ‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.

They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”

John answered them, “I baptize with water; but among you stands one whom you do not know, even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”

This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Holy Scriptures January 3 2023

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO TIMOTHY 4:5-8

TIMOTHY, my son, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.

For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

MARK 1:1-8

The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophets, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who shall prepare your way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’

John was baptizing in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey.

And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Holy Scriptures January 2 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 5:4-10

BRETHREN, 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.’

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear.

Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

JOHN 3:1-15

At that time, there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nikodemos, a ruler of the Jews.

This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nikodemos said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’

The Spirit blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, and you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nikodemos said to him, “How can this be?”

Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this?

Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony.

If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

Holy Scriptures January 1 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS 2:8-12

BRETHREN, see to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.

For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ;

and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

LUKE 2:20-21, 40-52

At that time, the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.

And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem.

His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him.

After three days, they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.”

And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them.

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.

Holy Scriptures December 31 2022

ST. PAUL’S FIRST LETTER TO TIMOTHY 3:13-16; 4:1-5

TIMOTHY, my son, those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

MATTHEW 3:1-6

At that time, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Holy Scriptures December 30 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 7:18-25

Brethren, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

And it was not without an oath.

Those who formerly became priests took their office without an oath, but this one was addressed with an oath, “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘Thou art a priest for ever.'”

This makes Jesus the surety of a better covenant.

The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever.

Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

MARK 12:1-12

The Lord said this parable, “A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge around it, and dug a pit for the wine press, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into another country.

When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.

And they took him and beat him, and sent him away empty handed.

Again he sent to them another servant, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully.

And he sent another, and him they killed; and so with many others, some they beat and some they killed.

He had still one other, a beloved son; finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’

And they took him and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.

What will the owner of the vineyard do?

He will come and destroy the tenants, and give the vineyard to others.

Have you not read this scripture: ‘The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”

And they tried to arrest him, but feared the multitude, for they perceived that he had told the parable against them; so they left him and went away.

Holy Scriptures December 29 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 2:11-18

BRETHREN, he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin.

That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I will proclaim thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee.’

And again, ‘I will put my trust in him.’

And again, ‘Here am I, and the children God has given me.

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.

For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham.

Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people.

For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

MATTHEW 2:13-23

When the wise men departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”

And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod.

This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.

Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.”

But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”

And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.

But when he heard that Archelaos reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee.

And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, “He shall be called a Nazarene.

Holy Scriptures December 28 2022

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 5:11-14; 6:1-8

Brethren, about Melchizedek we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God’s word.

You need milk, not solid food; for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the work of righteousness, for he is a child.

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, with instruction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

And this we will do if God permits.

For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.

For land which has drunk the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.

But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.

LUKE 14:25-35

At that time, great multitudes accompanied Jesus; and he turned and said to them, “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’

Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace.

So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored?

It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.