December 30th, 2017

Christmastide VI


First Reading: Is. 58:1-59:3; Is. 58:14-21


Fasting that Pleases God

 1 “Cry aloud, spare not;
      Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
      Tell My people their transgression,
      And the house of Jacob their sins.
       2 Yet they seek Me daily,
      And delight to know My ways,
      As a nation that did righteousness,
      And did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
      They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;
      They take delight in approaching God.
       3 ‘ Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?
      Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
      “ In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure,
      And exploit all your laborers.
       4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,
      And to strike with the fist of wickedness.
      You will not fast as you do this day,
      To make your voice heard on high.
       5 Is it a fast that I have chosen,
      A day for a man to afflict his soul?
      Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush,
      And to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
      Would you call this a fast,
      And an acceptable day to the LORD?
       6 “ Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
      To loose the bonds of wickedness,
      To undo the heavy burdens,
      To let the oppressed go free,
      And that you break every yoke?
       7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
      And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
      When you see the naked, that you cover him,
      And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
       8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
      Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
      And your righteousness shall go before you;
      The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
       9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
      You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.
      “ If you take away the yoke from your midst,
      The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
       10 If you extend your soul to the hungry
      And satisfy the afflicted soul,
      Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
      And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
       11 The LORD will guide you continually,
      And satisfy your soul in drought,
      And strengthen your bones;
      You shall be like a watered garden,
      And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
       12 Those from among you
      Shall build the old waste places;
      You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
      And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach,
      The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
       13 “ If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
      From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
      And call the Sabbath a delight,
      The holy day of the LORD honorable,
      And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
      Nor finding your own pleasure,
      Nor speaking your own words,
       14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
      And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
      And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
      The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Separated from God

 1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened,
      That it cannot save;
      Nor His ear heavy,
      That it cannot hear.
       2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
      And your sins have hidden His face from you,
      So that He will not hear.
       3 For your hands are defiled with blood,
      And your fingers with iniquity;
      Your lips have spoken lies,
      Your tongue has muttered perversity.
      





14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
      And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
      And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
      The mouth of the LORD has spoken.”



Second Reading: Luke 1:26-38


Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

    26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”[a] 29 But when she saw him,[b] she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” 35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Footnotes:Luke 1:28 NU-Text omits blessed are you among women. Luke 1:29 NU-Text omits when she saw him.


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