December 4th, 2018

John of Damascus, Theologian and Hymnwriter

First Reading: Is. 10:12-27; Is. 10:33-34

 12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, "I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he says:
       " 'By the strength of my hand I have done this,
       and by my wisdom, because I have understanding.
       I removed the boundaries of nations,
       I plundered their treasures;
       like a mighty one I subdued [a] their kings.

 14 As one reaches into a nest,
       so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations;
       as men gather abandoned eggs,
       so I gathered all the countries;
       not one flapped a wing,
       or opened its mouth to chirp.' "

 15 Does the ax raise itself above him who swings it,
       or the saw boast against him who uses it?
       As if a rod were to wield him who lifts it up,
       or a club brandish him who is not wood!

 16 Therefore, the Lord, the LORD Almighty,
       will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors;
       under his pomp a fire will be kindled
       like a blazing flame.

 17 The Light of Israel will become a fire,
       their Holy One a flame;
       in a single day it will burn and consume
       his thorns and his briers.

 18 The splendor of his forests and fertile fields
       it will completely destroy,
       as when a sick man wastes away.

 19 And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few
       that a child could write them down.

The Remnant of Israel
 20 In that day the remnant of Israel,
       the survivors of the house of Jacob,
       will no longer rely on him
       who struck them down
       but will truly rely on the LORD,
       the Holy One of Israel.

 21 A remnant will return, [b] a remnant of Jacob
       will return to the Mighty God.

 22 Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea,
       only a remnant will return.
       Destruction has been decreed,
       overwhelming and righteous.

 23 The Lord, the LORD Almighty, will carry out
       the destruction decreed upon the whole land.

 24 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the LORD Almighty, says:
       "O my people who live in Zion,
       do not be afraid of the Assyrians,
       who beat you with a rod
       and lift up a club against you, as Egypt did.

 25 Very soon my anger against you will end
       and my wrath will be directed to their destruction."

 26 The LORD Almighty will lash them with a whip,
       as when he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb;
       and he will raise his staff over the waters,
       as he did in Egypt.

 27 In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders,
       their yoke from your neck;
       the yoke will be broken
       because you have grown so fat. [c]

Footnotes:Isaiah 10:13 Or / I subdued the mighty , Isaiah 10:21 Hebrew shear-jashub ; also in verse 22 Isaiah 10:27 Hebrew; Septuagint broken / from your shoulders

 33 See, the Lord, the LORD Almighty,
       will lop off the boughs with great power.
       The lofty trees will be felled,
       the tall ones will be brought low.

 34 He will cut down the forest thickets with an ax;
       Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One.

Second Reading: 2 Pt. 1:1-21

 1Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
      To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

 2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Making One's Calling and Election Sure
 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

 10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prophecy of Scripture
 12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

 16We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."[a] 18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

 19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Footnotes:2 Peter 1:17 Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35


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