December 14th, 2017

Thursday of Populus Zion (Advent 2)


First Reading: Is. 30:15-26


15 For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel:
      “ In returning and rest you shall be saved;
      In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
      But you would not,
       16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses”—
      Therefore you shall flee!
      And, “We will ride on swift horses”—
      Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!
       17 One thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
      At the threat of five you shall flee,
      Till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain
      And as a banner on a hill.

God Will Be Gracious
    18 Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
      And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
      For the LORD is a God of justice;
      Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
       19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem;
      You shall weep no more.
      He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry;
      When He hears it, He will answer you.
       20 And though the Lord gives you
      The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
      Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
      But your eyes shall see your teachers.
       21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
      “ This is the way, walk in it,”
      Whenever you turn to the right hand
      Or whenever you turn to the left.
       22 You will also defile the covering of your images of silver,
      And the ornament of your molded images of gold.
      You will throw them away as an unclean thing;
      You will say to them, “Get away!”
       23 Then He will give the rain for your seed
      With which you sow the ground,
      And bread of the increase of the earth;
      It will be fat and plentiful.
      In that day your cattle will feed
      In large pastures.
       24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground
      Will eat cured fodder,
      Which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.
       25 There will be on every high mountain
      And on every high hill
      Rivers and streams of waters,
      In the day of the great slaughter,
      When the towers fall.
       26 Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun,
      And the light of the sun will be sevenfold,
      As the light of seven days,
      In the day that the LORD binds up the bruise of His people
      And heals the stroke of their wound.



Second Reading: Rev. 2:1-29


The Loveless Church

 1 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

The Persecuted Church

    8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write, ‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: 9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

The Compromising Church

    12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, ‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: 13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.[a] 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

The Corrupt Church

    18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith,[b] and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow[c] that woman[d] Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce[e] My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.[f] 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their[g] deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. 24 “Now to you I say, and[h] to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will[i] put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
       27 ‘ He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
      They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’[j]

   as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

Footnotes:Revelation 2:15 NU-Text and M-Text read likewise for which thing I hate. Revelation 2:19 NU-Text and M-Text read faith, service. Revelation 2:20 NU-Text and M-Text read I have against you that you tolerate. Revelation 2:20 M-Text reads your wife Jezebel. Revelation 2:20 NU-Text and M-Text read and teaches and seduces. Revelation 2:21 NU-Text and M-Text read time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality. Revelation 2:22 NU-Text and M-Text read her. Revelation 2:24 NU-Text and M-Text omit and. Revelation 2:24 NU-Text and M-Text omit will. Revelation 2:27 Psalm 2:96


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