January 27th, 2018

John Chrysostom, Preacher

First Reading: Zech. 4:1-5:11

Vision of the Lampstand and Olive Trees

 1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?”So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. 3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” 4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?” 5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?”

   And I said, “No, my lord.” 6 So he answered and said to me:
      “ This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
      ‘ Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
      Says the LORD of hosts.
       7 ‘ Who are you, O great mountain?
      Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!
      And he shall bring forth the capstone
      With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’” 8 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
       9 “ The hands of Zerubbabel
      Have laid the foundation of this temple;[a]
      His hands shall also finish it.
      Then you will know
      That the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.
       10 For who has despised the day of small things?
      For these seven rejoice to see
      The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
      They are the eyes of the LORD,
      Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” 11 Then I answered and said to him, “What are these two olive trees—at the right of the lampstand and at its left?” 12 And I further answered and said to him, “What are these two olive branches that drip into the receptacles[b] of the two gold pipes from which the golden oil drains?” 13 Then he answered me and said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 14 So he said, “These are the two anointed ones, who stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.”

Vision of the Flying Scroll

 1 Then I turned and raised my eyes, and saw there a flying scroll. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?” So I answered, “I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits and its width ten cubits.” 3 Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth: ‘Every thief shall be expelled,’ according to this side of the scroll; and, ‘Every perjurer shall be expelled,’ according to that side of it.”
       4 “ I will send out the curse,” says the LORD of hosts;
      “ It shall enter the house of the thief
      And the house of the one who swears falsely by My name.
      It shall remain in the midst of his house
      And consume it, with its timber and stones.”

Vision of the Woman in a Basket

    5 Then the angel who talked with me came out and said to me, “Lift your eyes now, and see what this is that goes forth.” 6 So I asked, “What is it?” And he said, “It is a basket[c] that is going forth.” He also said, “This is their resemblance throughout the earth: 7 Here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is a woman sitting inside the basket”; 8 then he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover[d] over its mouth. 9 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven. 10 So I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are they carrying the basket?” 11 And he said to me, “To build a house for it in the land of Shinar;[e] when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.”

Footnotes:Zechariah 4:9 Literally house Zechariah 4:12 Literally into the hands of Zechariah 5:6 Hebrew ephah, a measuring container, and so elsewhere Zechariah 5:8 Literally stone Zechariah 5:11 That is, Babylon

Second Reading: Rom. 15:14-33

From Jerusalem to Illyricum

    14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.[a] 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written:
      “ To whom He was not announced, they shall see;
      And those who have not heard shall understand.”[b]

Plan to Visit Rome

    22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you.[c] For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel[d] of Christ. 30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Footnotes:Romans 15:14 M-Text reads others. Romans 15:21 Isaiah 52:15 Romans 15:24 NU-Text omits I shall come to you (and joins Spain with the next sentence). Romans 15:29 NU-Text omits of the gospel.


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