A short weekly reading to inspire, encourage and help you reflect on the coming week.

ELCA

 

October 14, 2019

Acts 26:24-29
​24While he was making this defense, Festus exclaimed, “You are out of your mind, Paul! Too much learning is driving you insane!” 25But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking the sober truth. 26Indeed the king knows about these things, and to him I speak freely; for I am certain that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this was not done in a corner. 27King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28Agrippa said to Paul, “Are you so quickly persuading me to become a Christian?” 29Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that not only you but also all who are listening to me today might become such as I am — except for these chains.”

October 7, 2019

James 1:2-11
2My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.
5If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. 6But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; 7for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, 8must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
9Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, 10and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field. 11For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.​

September 30, 2019

Luke 10:17-20
​Michael and All Angels (transferred)
17The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

September 23, 2019

Acts 4:1-12
1While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, 2much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. 3So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.
5The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11This Jesus is
‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;
it has become the cornerstone.’
12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

September 16, 2019

Amos 7:1-6
​1This is what the Lord GOD showed me: he was forming locusts at the time the latter growth began to sprout (it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings). 2When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,
“O Lord GOD, forgive, I beg you!
How can Jacob stand?
He is so small!”
3The LORD relented concerning this;
“It shall not be,” said the LORD.
4This is what the Lord GOD showed me: the Lord GOD was calling for a shower of fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. 5Then I said,
“O Lord GOD, cease, I beg you!
How can Jacob stand?
He is so small!”
6The LORD relented concerning this;
“This also shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.

September 9, 2019

2 Kings 17:24-41
24The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria in place of the people of Israel; they took possession of Samaria, and settled in its cities. 25When they first settled there, they did not worship the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions mong them, which killed some of them. 26So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land; therefore he has sent lions among them; they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.” 27Then the king of Assyria commanded, “Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there; let him go and live there, and teach them the law of the god of the land.” 28So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel; he taught them how they should worship the LORD.
29But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the shrines of the high places that the people of Samaria had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived; 30the people of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the people of Cuth made Nergal, the people of Hamath made Ashima; 31the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32They also worshiped the LORD and appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. 33So they worshiped the LORD but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. 34To this day they continue to practice their former customs.
They do not worship the LORD and they do not follow the statutes or the ordinances or the law or the commandment that the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35The LORD had made a covenant with them and commanded them, “You shall not worship other gods or bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, 36but you shall worship the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm; you shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. 37The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall always be careful to observe. You shall not worship other gods; 38you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. You shall not worship other gods, 39but you shall worship the LORD your God; he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” 40They would not listen, however, but they continued to practice their former custom.
41So these nations worshiped the LORD, but also served their carved images; to this day their children and their children’s children continue to do as their ancestors did.

September 2, 2019

Psalm 1
​1Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2but their delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
3They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
4The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

August 26, 2019

Hebrews 3:7 — 4:11
3:7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
8do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9where your ancestors put me to the test,
though they had seen my works 10for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, ‘They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known my ways.’
11As in my anger I swore,
‘They will not enter my rest.'”
12Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. 15As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
16Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? 17But with whom was he angry forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to those who were disobedient? 19So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
4:1Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“As in my anger I swore,
‘They shall not enter my rest,'”
though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7again he sets a certain day — “today” — saying through David much later, in the words already quoted,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. 9So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; 10for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. 11Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.

August 19, 2019

Jeremiah 23:30-40 and 1 John 4:1-6
Jeremiah 23:30-40
30See, therefore, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who steal my words from one another. 31See, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who use their own tongues and say, “Says the LORD.” 32See, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the LORD, and who tell them, and who lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or appoint them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the LORD.
33When this people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, “What is the burden of the LORD?” you shall say to them, “You are the burden, and I will cast you off, says the LORD.” 34And as for the prophet, priest, or the people who say, “The burden of the LORD,” I will punish them and their households. 35Thus shall you say to one another, among yourselves, “What has the LORD answered?” or “What has the LORD spoken?” 36But “the burden of the LORD” you shall mention no more, for the burden is everyone’s own word, and so you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God. 37Thus you shall ask the prophet, “What has the LORD answered you?” or “What has the LORD spoken?” 38But if you say, “the burden of the LORD,” thus says the LORD: Because you have said these words, “the burden of the LORD,” when I sent to you, saying, You shall not say, “the burden of the LORD,” 39therefore, I will surely lift you up and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your ancestors. 40And I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.
1 John 4:1-6
1Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. 2Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.
5The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.”

August 12, 2019

Hebrews 11:1-7
1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
4By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.

August 5, 2019

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
8By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old — and Sarah herself was barren — because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
13All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, 14for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

July 29, 2019

Esther 5:1-14
1On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, opposite the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to the palace. 2As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won his favor and he held out to her the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter. 3The king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” 4Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to a banquet that I have prepared for the king.” 5Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther desires.” So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6While they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” 7Then Esther said, “This is my petition and request: 8If I have won the king’s favor, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet that I will prepare for them, and then I will do as the king has said.”
9Haman went out that day happy and in good spirits. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, and observed that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was infuriated with Mordecai; 10nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home. Then he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh, 11and Haman recounted to them the splendor of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which the king had honored him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and the ministers of the king. 12Haman added, “Even Queen Esther let no one but myself come with the king to the banquet that she prepared. Tomorrow also I am invited by her, together with the king. 13Yet all this does me no good so long as I see the Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” 14Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mordecai hanged on it; then go with the king to the banquet in good spirits.” This advice pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.​
July 22, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth 1:6-18
​Mary Magdalene, Apostle
6Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had considered his people and given them food. 7So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in- law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. 8But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9The LORD grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. 10They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, 13would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the LORD has turned against me.” 14Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16But Ruth said,
“Do not press me to leave you
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge, I will lodge,
your people shall be my people,
and your God my God.
17Where you die, I will die —
there will I be buried.
May the LORD do thus and so to me,
and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!”
18When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
July 15, 2019
Job 24:1-8
​1″Why are times not kept by the Almighty,
and why do those who know him never see his days?
2The wicked remove landmarks;
they seize flocks and pasture them.
3They drive away the donkey of the orphan;
they take the widow’s ox for a pledge.
4They thrust the needy off the road;
the poor of the earth all hide themselves.
5Like wild asses in the desert
they go out to their toil,
scavenging in the wasteland
food for their young.
6They reap in a field not their own
and they glean in the vineyard of the wicked.
7They lie all night naked, without clothing,
and have no covering in the cold.
8They are wet with the rain of the mountains,
and cling to the rock for want of shelter.
July 8, 2019
Acts 19:28-41
​28When they heard this, they were enraged and shouted, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29The city was filled with the confusion; and people rushed together to the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul’s travel companions. 30Paul wished to go into the crowd, but the disciples would not let him; 31even some officials of the province of Asia, who were friendly to him, sent him a message urging him not to venture into the theater. 32Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing, some another; for the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. 33Some of the crowd gave instructions to Alexander, whom the Jews had pushed forward. And Alexander motioned for silence and tried to make a defense before the people. 34But when they recognized that he was a Jew, for about two hours all of them shouted in unison, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 35But when the town clerk had quieted the crowd, he said, “Citizens of Ephesus, who is there that does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple keeper of the great Artemis and of the statue that fell from heaven? 36Since these things cannot be denied, you ought to be quiet and do nothing rash. 37You have brought these men here who are neither temple robbers nor blasphemers of our goddess. 38If therefore Demetrius and the artisans with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls; let them bring charges there against one another. 39If there is anything further you want to know, it must be settled in the regular assembly. 40For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, since there is no cause that we can give to justify this commotion.” 41When he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.
July 1, 2019
1 John 2:7-11
​7Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. 11But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
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