December 29th, 2017

Christmastide V / David


First Reading: Is. 55:1-13


An Invitation to Abundant Life

 1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
      Come to the waters;
      And you who have no money,
      Come, buy and eat.
      Yes, come, buy wine and milk
      Without money and without price.
       2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
      And your wages for what does not satisfy?
      Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
      And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
       3 Incline your ear, and come to Me.
      Hear, and your soul shall live;
      And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
      The sure mercies of David.
       4 Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
      A leader and commander for the people.
       5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
      And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
      Because of the LORD your God,
      And the Holy One of Israel;
      For He has glorified you.”
       6 Seek the LORD while He may be found,
      Call upon Him while He is near.
       7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
      And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
      Let him return to the LORD,
      And He will have mercy on him;
      And to our God,
      For He will abundantly pardon.
       8 “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
      Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
       9 “ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      So are My ways higher than your ways,
      And My thoughts than your thoughts.
       10 “ For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
      And do not return there,
      But water the earth,
      And make it bring forth and bud,
      That it may give seed to the sower
      And bread to the eater,
       11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
      It shall not return to Me void,
      But it shall accomplish what I please,
      And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
       12 “ For you shall go out with joy,
      And be led out with peace;
      The mountains and the hills
      Shall break forth into singing before you,
      And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
       13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
      And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
      And it shall be to the LORD for a name,
      For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”



Second Reading: Luke 1:1-25


Dedication to Theophilus

 1 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled[a] among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.

John’s Birth Announced to Zacharias

    5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years. 8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’[b] and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. 20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.” 21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless. 23 So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24 Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Footnotes:Luke 1:1 Or are most surely believed Luke 1:17 Malachi 4:5, 6


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