Daily scripture readings from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer

Thursday, March 23

Today's readings include passages from Psalms, Jeremiah, Romans and John.

Psalm 69

1 Save me, O God!     For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire,     where there is no foothold;     I have come into deep waters,     and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying out;     my throat is parched.     My eyes grow dim     with waiting for my God. 4 More in number than the hairs of my head     are those who hate me without cause;     mighty are those who would destroy me,     those who attack me with lies.     What I did not steal     must I now restore? 5 O God, you know my folly;     the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. 6 Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,     O Lord God of hosts;     let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,     O God of Israel. 7 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,     that dishonor has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my brothers,     an alien to my mother's sons. 9 For zeal for your house has consumed me,     and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. 10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,     it became my reproach. 11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,     I became a byword to them. 12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,     and the drunkards make songs about me. 13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.     At an acceptable time, O God,     in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. 14 Deliver me     from sinking in the mire;     let me be delivered from my enemies     and from the deep waters. 15 Let not the flood sweep over me,     or the deep swallow me up,     or the pit close its mouth over me. 16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;     according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. 17 Hide not your face from your servant,     for I am in distress; make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to my soul, redeem me;     ransom me because of my enemies! 19 You know my reproach,     and my shame and my dishonor;     my foes are all known to you. 20 Reproaches have broken my heart,     so that I am in despair.     I looked for pity, but there was none,     and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me poison for food,     and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink. 22 Let their own table before them become a snare;     and when they are at peace, let it become a trap. 23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,     and make their loins tremble continually. 24 Pour out your indignation upon them,     and let your burning anger overtake them. 25 May their camp be a desolation;     let no one dwell in their tents. 26 For they persecute him whom you have struck down,     and they recount the pain of those you have wounded. 27 Add to them punishment upon punishment;     may they have no acquittal from you. 28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;     let them not be enrolled among the righteous. 29 But I am afflicted and in pain;     let your salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song;     I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox     or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 When the humble see it they will be glad;     you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the Lord hears the needy     and does not despise his own people who are prisoners. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him,     the seas and everything that moves in them. 35 For God will save Zion     and build up the cities of Judah,     and people shall dwell there and possess it; 36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,     and those who love his name shall dwell in it. 


Psalm 73

1 Truly God is good to Israel,     to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,     my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant     when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For they have no pangs until death;     their bodies are fat and sleek. 5 They are not in trouble as others are;     they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace;     violence covers them as a garment. 7 Their eyes swell out through fatness;     their hearts overflow with follies. 8 They scoff and speak with malice;     loftily they threaten oppression. 9 They set their mouths against the heavens,     and their tongue struts through the earth. 10 Therefore his people turn back to them,     and find no fault in them. 11 And they say, “How can God know?     Is there knowledge in the Most High?” 12 Behold, these are the wicked;     always at ease, they increase in riches. 13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean     and washed my hands in innocence. 14 For all the day long I have been stricken     and rebuked every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”     I would have betrayed the generation of your children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this,     it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;     then I discerned their end. 18 Truly you set them in slippery places;     you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment,     swept away utterly by terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes,     O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. 21 When my soul was embittered,     when I was pricked in heart, 22 I was brutish and ignorant;     I was like a beast toward you. 23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;     you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel,     and afterward you will receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?     And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail,     but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;     you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. 28 But for me it is good to be near God;     I have made the Lord God my refuge,     that I may tell of all your works. 


Jeremiah 22:13-23

13 “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,     and his upper rooms by injustice,     who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing     and does not give him his wages, 14 who says, ‘I will build myself a great house     with spacious upper rooms,’     who cuts out windows for it,     paneling it with cedar     and painting it with vermilion. 15 Do you think you are a king     because you compete in cedar?     Did not your father eat and drink     and do justice and righteousness?     Then it was well with him. 16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy;     then it was well.     Is not this to know me?     declares the Lord. 17 But you have eyes and heart     only for your dishonest gain,     for shedding innocent blood,     and for practicing oppression and violence.” 18 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:     “They shall not lament for him, saying,     ‘Ah, my brother!’ or ‘Ah, sister!’     They shall not lament for him, saying,     ‘Ah, lord!’ or ‘Ah, his majesty!’ 19 With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried, 20 “Go up to Lebanon, and cry out,     and lift up your voice in Bashan;     cry out from Abarim,     for all your lovers are destroyed. 21 I spoke to you in your prosperity,     but you said, ‘I will not listen.’     This has been your way from your youth,     that you have not obeyed my voice. 22 The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds,     and your lovers shall go into captivity;     then you will be ashamed and confounded     because of all your evil. 23 O inhabitant of Lebanon,     nested among the cedars,     how you will be pitied when pangs come upon you,     pain as of a woman in labor!” 


Romans 8:12-27

12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 


John 6:41-51

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

  English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.