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First Reading: Proverbs Chapter 31
31:1 Sayings of King Lemuel
The sayings of King Lemuel an oracle his mother taught him:
2 "O my son, O son of my womb,O son of my vows, 3 do not spend your strength on women,your vigor on those who ruin kings.
4 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel not for kings to drink wine,not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees,and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6 Give beer to those who are perishing,wine to those who are in anguish; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly;defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 A wife of noble character who can find?She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm,all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships,bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark;she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. 16 She considers a field and buys it;out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously;her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable,and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed;she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them,and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom,and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things,but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned,and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Second Reading: Luke Chapter 3
3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar-when Pontius Pilate
was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch
of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene- 2 during the high
priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah
in the desert. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As is written in the book
of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
"A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 6 And all mankind will see God's salvation.'"
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
10 "What should we do then?" the crowd asked.
11 John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?"
13 "Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?"
He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely-be content with your pay."
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. 16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.
19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,
the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, the son of Melki,
the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,
the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,
the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath,
the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,
the son of Josech, the son of Joda,
27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,
the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melki,
the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,
the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,
the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon,
the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,
the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna,
the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,
the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse,
the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,
the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,
33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,
the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,
the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob,
the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,
the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu,
the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,
the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan,
the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,
the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,
the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,
the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam,
the son of God.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 2 of 3
The following is found in Luke:
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