Daily Readings for Sunday December 21,2014

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Reading 1, Gen 24:50-67 : Isaac receives Rebekah.

50 Then Laban and Bethu'el answered, "The thing comes from the LORD; we cannot speak to you bad or good.
51 Behold, Rebekah is before you, take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has spoken."
52 When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the LORD.
53 And the servant brought forth jewelry of silver and of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments.
54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, "Send me back to my master."
55 Her brother and her mother said, "Let the maiden remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go."
56 But he said to them, "Do not delay me, since the LORD has prospered my way; let me go that I may go to my master."
57 They said, "We will call the maiden, and ask her."
58 And they called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She said, "I will go."
59 So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men.
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, "Our sister, be the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendants possess the gate of those who hate them!"
61 Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and rode upon the camels and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
62 Now Isaac had come from Beer-la'hai-roi, and was dwelling in the Negeb.
63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there were camels coming.
64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel,
65 and said to the servant, "Who is the man yonder, walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." So she took her veil and covered herself.
66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
 


Reading 2, 1 Sam 1:1-18 : Samuel’s birth and dedication


1 There was a certain man of Ramatha'im-zo'phim of the hill country of E'phraim, whose name was Elka'nah the son of Jero'ham, son of Eli'hu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an E'phraimite.
2 He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Penin'nah. And Penin'nah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phin'ehas, were priests of the LORD.
4 On the day when Elka'nah sacrificed, he would give portions to Penin'nah his wife and to all her sons and daughters;
5 and, although he loved Hannah, he would give Hannah only one portion, because the LORD had closed her womb.
6 And her rival used to provoke her sorely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.
7 So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.
8 And Elka'nah, her husband, said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"
9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.
10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly.
11 And she vowed a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy maidservant, and remember me, and not forget thy maidservant, but wilt give to thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head."
12 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.
13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard; therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.
14 And Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunken? Put away your wine from you."
15 But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman sorely troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.
16 Do not regard your maidservant as a base woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation."
17 Then Eli answered, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have made to him."
18 And she said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your eyes." Then the woman went her way and ate, and her countenance was no longer sad.


Reading 3, Eph 5:5-21 : Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.


5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not associate with them,
8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),
10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret;
13 but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light.
14 Therefore it is said, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light."
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,
20 always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.


Gospel, Mt 1:18-24 : God’s intervention in birth of Jesus.


18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit;
19 and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
20 But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
21 she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel" (which means, God with us).
24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,


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