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Martin Jr.

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Thursday, November 24, 2022
Revelation 18: 1 - 2, 21 - 23; 19: 1 - 3, 9
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven . His authority was so great that all the earth was lighted up by his glory. He cried out in a strong voice: "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons. She is a cage for every unclean spirit, a cage for every filthy and disgusting bird."
A powerful angel picked up a stone like a huge millstone and hurled it into the sea and said: "Babylon the great city shall be cast down like this, with violence, and nevermore be found! No tunes of harpists and minstrels, of flutists and trumpeters, shall ever again be heard in you! No craftsman in any trade shall ever again be found in you! No sound of the millstone shall ever again be heard in you! No light from a burning lamp shall ever again shine out in you! No voices of bride and groom shall ever again shine out in you! Because your merchants were the world's nobility, you led all nations astray by your sorcery."
After this I heard what sounded like the loud song of a great assembly in heaven. They were singing: "Alleluia! Salvation, glory and might belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just! He has condemned the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her harlotry. He has avenged the blood of his servants which was shed by her hand."
Once more they sang "Alleluia!" And as the smoke began to rise from her forever and ever.
The angel then said to me: "Write this down: Happy are they who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb."

Psalm 100: 1 - 5
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song. Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him; bless his name, for he is good: the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations.

Gospel of Luke 21: 20 - 28
Jesus said to his disciples:
"When you see Jerusalem encircled by soldiers, know that its devastation is near. Those in Judea at the time must flee to the mountains; those in the heart of the city must escape it; those in the country must not return. These indeed will be days of retribution, when all that is written must be fulfilled.
The women who are pregnant or nursing at the breast will fare badly in those days! The distress in the land and the wrath against this people will be great. The people will fall before the sword: they will be led captive in the midst of the Gentiles. Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish, distraught at the roaring of the sea and the waves. Men will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the earth. The powers in the heavens will be shaken. After that, men will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and glory. When these things begin to happen, stand erect and hold your heads high, for your deliverance is near at hand."
 

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Friday, November 25, 2022
Revelation 20: 1 - 4, 11 - - 21: 2
Then I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven, holding the key to the abyss and a huge chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil of Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years. The angel hurled him into the abyss, which he closed and sealed over him. He did this so that the dragon might not lead the nations astray until the thousand years are over. After this, the dragon is to be released for a short time.
Then I saw some thrones. Those who were sitting on them were empowered to pass judgment. I also saw the spirits of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and the word of God, those who had never worshiped the beast or its image nor accepted its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life again and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Next I saw a large white throne and the One who sat on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence until they could no longer be seen. I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne. Lastly, among the scrolls, the book of the living was opened. The dead were judged according to their conduct as recorded on the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then death and the nether world gave up their dead. Each person was judged according to his conduct. Then death and the nether world were hurled into the pool of fire, which is the second death; anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the book of the living was hurled into this pool of fire.
Then I saw new heavens and a new earth. The former heavens and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer. I also saw a new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband.

Psalm 84: 3 - 6, 8
My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest in which she puts her young - your altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God!
Happy they who dwell in your house! Continually they praise you. Happy the men whose strength you are! Their hearts are set upon the pilgrimage.
They go from strength to strength; they shall see the God of gods in Zion.

Gospel of Luke 21: 29 - 33
Then Jesus told them a parable: "Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. You observe them when they are budding, and know for yourselves that summer is near. Likewise when you see all the things happening of which I speak, know that the reign of God is near. Let me tell you this: the present generation will not pass away until all this takes place. The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass."
 

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Saturday, November 26, 2022
Revelation 22: 1 - 7
The angel then showed me the river of life-giving water, clear as crystal, which issued from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowed down the middle of the streets. On either side of the river grew the trees of life which produce fruit twelve times a year, once each month; their leaves serve as medicine for the nations. Nothing deserving a curse shall be found there. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be there, and his servants shall serve him faithfully. They shall see him face to face and bear his name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more. They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever.
The angel said to me: "These words are trustworthy and true; the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits, has sent his angel to show his servants what must happen very soon."
"Remember, I am coming soon! Happy the man who heeds the prophetic message of this book!"

Psalm 95: 1 - 7
Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation. Let us greet him with thanksgiving; let us joyfully sing psalms to him. For the Lord is a great God, and a great king above all gods; in his hands are the depths of the earth, and the tops of the mountains are his. His is the sea, for he has made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the Lord who made us. For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.

Gospel of Luke 21: 34 - 36
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be on guard lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares. The great day will suddenly close in on you like a trap. The day I speak of will come upon all who dwell on the face of the earth. So be on the watch. Pray constantly for the strength to escape whatever is in prospect, and to stand secure before the Son of Man."
 

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Sunday, November 27, 2022
Isaiah 2: 1 - 5
This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come, the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; Many peoples shall come and say: "Come, let us climb the Lord's mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths." For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Psalm 122: 1 - 9
I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the Lord." And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem - Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, according to the decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May those who love you prosper! May peace be within your walls, prosperity in your buildings. Because of my relatives and friends I will say, "Peace be within you!" Because of the house of the Lord, our God, I will pray for your good.

Letter of Paul to the Romans 13: 11 - 14
Take care to do all these things, for you know the time in which we are living. It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent; the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us live honorably as in daylight; not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual excess and lust, not in quarreling and jealousy. Rather, put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Gospel of Matthew 24: 37 - 44
Jesus said to his disciples:
The coming of the Son of Man will repeat what happened in Noah's time. In the days before the flood people were eating and drinking, marrying and being married, right up to the day Noah entered the ark. They were totally unconcerned until the flood came and destroyed them. So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal; one will be taken and one will be left. Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming.
Be sure of this: if the owner of the house knew when the thief was coming he would keep a watchful eye and not allow his house to be broken into. You must be prepared in the same way. The Son of Man is coming at the time you least expect."
 

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Monday, November 28, 2022
Isaiah 4: 2 - 6
On that day, the branch of the Lord will be luster and glory, and the fruit of the earth will be honor and splendor for the survivors of Israel. He who remains in Zion and he that is left in Jerusalem will be called holy; everyone marked down for life in Jerusalem. When the Lord washes away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purges Jerusalem's blood from her midst with the blast of searing judgments, then will the Lord create, over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her place of assembly, a smoking cloud by day and a light of flaming fire by night. For over all, his glory will be shelter and protection: shade from the parching heat of day, refuge and cover from storm and rain.

Psalm 122: 1 - 9
I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the Lord." And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem - Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, according to the decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! May those who love you prosper! May peace be within your walls, prosperity in your buildings. Because of my relatives and friends I will say, "Peace be within you!" Because of the house of the Lord, our God, I will pray for your good.

Gospel of Matthew 8: 5 - 11
As Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him with this request: "Sir, my serving boy is at home in bed paralyzed, suffering painfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." "Sir," the centurion said in reply, "I am not worthy to have you under my roof. Just give an order and my boy will get better. I am a man under authority myself and I have troops assigned to me. If I give one man the order, 'Dismissed,' off he goes. If I say to another, 'Come here,' he comes. If I tell my slave, "Do this,' he does it." Jesus showed amazement on hearing this and remarked to his followers, "I assure you, I have never found this much faith in Israel. Mark what say! Many will come from the east and the west and will find a place at the banquet in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
 

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Isaiah 11: 1 - 10
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea.
On that day, the Root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Psalm 72: 1 - 2, 7 - 8, 12 - 13, 17
O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king's son; he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment.
Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
For he shall rescue the poor man when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.
May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.

Gospel of Luke 10: 21 - 24
At that moment Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said: "I offer you praise, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because what you have hidden from the learned and the clever you have revealed to the merest children.
Yes, Father, you have graciously willed it so. Everything has been given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son - and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."
Turning this disciples he said to them privately: "Blest are the eyes that see what you see. I tell you, many prophets and kings wished to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
 

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Letter of Paul to the Romans 10: 9 - 18
If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Faith in the heart leads to justification, confession on the lips to salvation. Scripture says, "No one who believes in him will be put to shame." Here there is no difference between Jew and Greek; all have the same Lord, rich in mercy toward all who call upon him. "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
But how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe unless they have heard of him? And how can they hear unless there is someone to preach? And how can men preach unless they are sent? Scripture says, "How beautiful are the feet of those who announce good news!" But not all have believed the gospel. Isaiah asks,"Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" Faith, then, comes through hearing, and what is heard is the word of Christ. I ask you, have they not heard? Certainly they have, for their voice has sounded over the whole earth, and their words to the limits of the world."

Psalm 19: 8 - 11
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul; the decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true, all of them just; they are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb.

Gospel of Matthew 4: 18 - 22
As Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee he watched two brothers, Simon now known as Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea. They were fisherman. He said to them, "Come after me and I will make you fishers of men." They immediately abandoned their nets and became his followers. He walked along farther and caught sight of two other brothers, James, Zebedee's son, and his brother John. They too were in their boat, getting their nets in order with their father, Zebedee. He called them, and immediately they abandoned boat and father to follow him.
 

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Thursday, December 1, 2022
Isaiah 26: 1 -6
On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah: "A strong city have we; he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us. Open up the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith. A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you."
Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down; he tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the poor.

Psalm 118: 1, 8 - 9, 19 - 21, 25 - 27
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
Open to me the gates of justice; I will enter them and give thanks to the Lord. This gate is the Lord's; the just shall enter it.
O Lord, grant salvation! O Lord, grant prosperity! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and he has given us light.

Gospel of Matthew 7: 21, 24 - 27
Jesus said to his disciples:
"None of those who cry out, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Anyone who hears my words and put them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on rock. When the rainy season set in, the torrents came and the winds blew and buffeted his house. It did not collapse; it had been solidly set on rock. Anyone who hears my words but does not put them into practice is like the foolish man who built his house on sandy ground. The rains fell, the torrents came, the winds blew and lashed against his house. It collapsed under all this and was completely ruined."
 

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Friday, December 2, 2022
Isaiah 29: 17 - 24
But a very little while, and Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be regarded as a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book; and out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find joy in the Lord, and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the tyrant will be no more and the arrogant will have gone; all who are alert to do evil will be cut off, those whose mere word condemns a man, who ensnare his defender at the gate, and leave the just man with an empty claim. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of the house of Jacob, who redeemed Abraham: Now Jacob shall have nothing to be ashamed of, nor shall his face grow pale. When his children see the work of my hands in his midst, they shall keep my name holy; they shall reverence the Holy One of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel. Those who err in spirit shall acquire understanding, and those who find fault shall receive instruction.

Psalm 27: 1, 4, 13 - 14
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?
One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I may gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate his temple.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.

Gospel of Matthew 9: 27 - 31
As Jesus moved on, two blind men came after him crying out, "Son of David have pity on us!" When he got to the house, the blind men caught up with him. Jesus said to them, "Are you confident I can do this?" "Yes, Lord," they told him. At that he touched their eyes and said, "Because of your faith it shall be done to you"; and they recovered their sight. Then Jesus warned them sternly, "See to it that no one knows of this." But they went off and spread the word of him through the whole area.
 

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Saturday, December 3, 2022
Isaiah 30: 19 - 21, 23 - 26
O people of Zion who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; he will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you. The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst. No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, while from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: "This is the way; walk in it," when you would turn to the right or to the left.
He will give rain for the seed that you sow in the ground, and the wheat that the soil produces will be rich and abundant. On that day your cattle will graze in spacious meadows; the oxen and the asses that till the ground will eat silage tossed to them with shovel and pitchfork. Upon every high mountain and lofty hill there will be streams of running water. On the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall, the light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater [like the light of seven days]. On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of his people, he will heal the bruises left by his blows.

Psalm 147: 1 - 6
Praise the Lord, for he is good; sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; it is fitting to praise him. The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; the dispersed of Israel he gathers. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He tells the number of the stars; he calls each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power: to his wisdom there is no limit. The Lord sustains the lowly; the wicked he casts to the ground.

Gospel of Matthew 9: 35 - -10: 1, 5 - 8
Jesus continued his tour of all the towns and villages. He taught in their synagogues, he proclaimed the good news of God's reign, and he cured every sickness and disease. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity. They were lying prostrate from exhaustion, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples: "The harvest is good but laborers are scarce. Beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather his harvest."
Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and to cure sickness and disease of every kind.
Jesus sent these men on mission as the Twelve, after giving them the following instructions: "Do not visit pagan territory and do not enter a Samaritan town. Go instead after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this announcement: 'The reign of God is at hand!' Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous, expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift."
 

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Sunday December 4, 2022
Isaiah 11: 1 - 10
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea.
On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Psalm 72: 1 - 2, 7 - 8, 12 - 13, 17
O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king's son; he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment.
Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
For he shall rescue the poor man when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.
May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.

Letter of Paul to the Romans 15: 4 - 9
Everything written before our time was written for our instruction, that we might derive hope from the lessons of patience and the words of encouragement in the Scriptures. May God, the source of all patience and encouragement, enable you to live in perfect harmony with one another according to the spirit of Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and voice you may glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, as Christ accepted you, for the glory of God. Yes, I affirm that Christ became the servant of the Jews because of God's faithfulness in fulfilling the promises to the patriarchs, whereas the Gentiles glorify God because of his mercy. Scripture has it, "Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles and I will sing to your name."

Gospel of Matthew 3: 1 - 12
When John the Baptizer made his appearance as a preacher in the desert of Judea, this was his theme: "Reform your lives! The reign of God is at hand." It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
"A herald's voice in the desert; 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.' "
John was clothed in a garment of camel's hair, and wore a leather belt around his waist. Grasshoppers and wild honey were his food. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him. They were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.
When he saw that many of the Pharisees and Sadducees were stepping forward for this bath, he said to them:
You brood of vipers! Who told you to flee from the wrath to come? Give some evidence that you mean to reform. Do not pride yourselves on the claim, "Abraham is our father.' I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax is laid to the foot of the tree. Every tree that is not fruitful will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you in water for the sake of reform, but the one who will follow me is more powerful than I. I am not even fit to carry his sandals. He it is who will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing-fan is in his hand. He will clear the threshing floor and gather his grain into the barn, but the chaff he will burn in unquenchable fire."
 

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Monday, December 5, 2022
Isaiah 35: 1 - 10
The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing.
Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; the abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. A highway will be there, called the holy way; no one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it. No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk. Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.

Psalm 85: 9- 14
I will hear what God proclaims; the Lord - for he proclaims peace to his people, and to his faithful ones, and to those who put in him their hope. Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven. The Lord himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps.

Gospel of Luke 5: 17 - 26
One day Jesus was teaching, and the power of the Lord made him heal. Sitting close by were Pharisees and teachers of the law who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. Some men came along carrying a paralytic on a mat. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but they found no way of getting him through because of the crowd, so they went up on the roof. There they let him down with his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd before Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said; "My friend, your sins are forgiven you."
The scribes and the Pharisees began a discussion, saying: "Who is this man who utters blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus, however, knew their reasoning and answered them by saying: "Why do you harbor these thoughts: Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? In any case, to make it clear to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" - he then addressed the paralyzed man: "I say to you, get up! Take your mat with you, and return to your house."
At once the man stood erect before them. He picked up the mat he had been lying on and went home praising God. At this they were all seized with astonishment. Full of awe, they gave praise to God, saying, "We have seen incredible things today!"
 

Martin Jr.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Isaiah 40: 1 - 11
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. A voice says, "Cry out!" I answer, "What shall I cry out?" "All mankind is grass, and all their glory like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower wilts, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it. [So then, the people is the grass.] Though the grass withers and the flower wilts, the word of our God stands forever."
Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

Psalm 96: 1 - 3, 10 - 13
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. Sing to the Lord; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Say among the nations: The Lord is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them! Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the Lord, for he comes; for he comes to rule the earth. He shall rule the world with justice and the people with his constancy.

Gospel of Matthew 18: 12 - 14
Jesus said to his disciples:
"What is your thought on this: A man owns a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away; will he not leave the ninety-nine out on the hills and go in search of the stray? If he succeeds in finding it, believe me he is happier about this one than about the ninety-nine that did not wander away. Just so, it is no part of your heavenly Father's plan that a single one of these little ones shall ever come to grief."
 

Martin Jr.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Isaiah 40: 25 - 31
To whom can you liken me as an equal? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these: he leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name. By his great might and the strength of his power not one of them is missing! Why, O Jacob, do you say and declare, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Do you not know or have you not heard? The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.

Psalm 103: 1 - 4, 8, 10
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; he pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes.

Gospel of Matthew 11: 28 - 30
Jesus said to the crowds:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light."
 

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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Genesis 3: 9 - 15, 20
After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree, the Lord God called to the man and asked him, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself." Then he asked, "Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!" The man replied, "The woman whom you put here with me - she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it." The Lord God then asked the woman, "Why did you do such a thing?" The woman answered, "The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it." Then the Lord God said to the serpent:
"Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."
The man called his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all the living.

Psalm 98: 1 - 4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.

Letter of Paul to the Ephesians 1: 3 - 6, 11 - 12
Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens! God chose us in him before the world began to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love; he likewise predestined us through Christ Jesus to be his adopted sons - such was his will and pleasure - that all might praise the glorious favor he has bestowed on us in his beloved.
In him we were chosen; for in the decree of God, who administers everything according to his will and counsel, we were predestined to praise his glory by being the first to hope in Christ.

Gospel of Luke 1: 26 - 38
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. Upon arriving, the angel said to her: "Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women." She was deeply troubled by his words, and wondered what his greeting meant. The angel went on to say to her; "Do not fear, Mary. You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a son and give him the name Jesus. Great will be his dignity and he will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever and his reign will be without end."
Mary said to the angel, "How can this be since I do not know man?" The angel answered her: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy offspring to be born will be called Son of God. Know that Elizabeth your kinswoman has conceived a son in her old age; she who was thought to be sterile is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible with God."
Mary said: "I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say." With that the angel left her.
 

Martin Jr.

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Friday, December 9, 2022
Isaiah 48: 17 - 19
Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea; your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence.

Psalm 1: 1 - 4. 6
Happy the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night. He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers.
Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.

Gospel of Matthew 11: 16 - 19
Jesus said to the crowds:
"What comparison can I use to describe this breed: they are like children squatting in the town squares, calling to their playmates: 'We piped you a tune but you did not dance! We sang you a dirge but you did not wail!"
In other words, John appeared neither eating nor drinking, and people say, 'He is mad!' The Son of Man appeared eating and drinking, and they say, 'This one is a glutton and drunkard, a lover of tax collectors and those outside the law!' Yet time will prove where wisdom lies."
 

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