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Scripture Reading for the
Common Calendar Year
(beginning January 1st)

December 23  

Text taken from the
Third Millennium Bible (TMB)
(New Authorized VersionTM NAVTM)

The Lectionary According to the Common Calendar

Psalm 144

1 Blessed be the LORD my strength,
who teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight;
2 my goodness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer,
my shield and He in whom I trust, who subdueth my people under me.

3 LORD, what is man that Thou takest notice of him?
Or the son of man that Thou makest account of him?
4 Man is like vanity;
his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

5 Bow Thy heavens, O LORD, and come down;
touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.
6 Cast forth lightning and scatter them;
shoot out Thine arrows and destroy them.
7 Send Thine hand from above;
rescue me and deliver me out of great waters from the hand of strangers,
8 whose mouth speaketh vanity
and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

9 I will sing a new song unto Thee, O God;
upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto Thee.
10 It is He that giveth salvation unto kings,
who delivereth David His servant from the hurtful sword.
11 Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of strangers,
whose mouth speaketh vanity and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood,
12 that our sons may be as plants full grown in their youth,
that our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace;
13 that our garners may be full, affording all manner of store,
that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets;
14 that our oxen may be strong to labor, that there be no breaking in, nor going out,
that there be no complaining in our streets.

15 Happy is that people for whom such is the case;
yea, happy is that people whose God is the LORD.

John 19:25-30

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother and the disciple standing by whom He loved, He said unto His mother,

"Woman, behold thy son!"

27 Then said He to the disciple,

"Behold thy mother!"

And from that hour, that disciple took her unto his own home.

28 After this Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said,

"I thirst."

29 Now there was set there a vessel full of vinegar; and they filled a sponge with vinegar and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said,

"It is finished."

And He bowed His head and gave up the ghost.

Revelation 18:11-24

11 "And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 12 the merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls; and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet; all scented wood, all manner of vessels of ivory and most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble; 13 and cinnamon, and perfumes, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat; and cattle, and sheep, and horses, and chariots; and slaves, and the souls of men.

14 "And the fruits that thy soul lusted after have departed from thee,
and all things which were dainty and goodly have departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
15 The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her,
shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing 16 and saying,
'Alas! Alas, that great city,
that was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet,
and bedecked with gold and precious stones and pearls!
17 For in one hour such great riches have come to nought!'

"And every shipmaster and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off; 18 and they cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, `What city is like unto this great city!' 19 And they cast dust on their heads and cried, weeping and wailing, saying,

'Alas! Alas, that great city, wherein all that had ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her extravagances!
For in one hour is she made desolate!'
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven and ye holy apostles and prophets,
for God hath avenged you on her."

21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying,

"Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down,
and shall be found no more at all.
22 And the voice of harpers and musicians, and of pipers and trumpeters
shall be heard no more at all in thee;
and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee;
and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23 and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee;
and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee.
For thy merchants were the great men of the earth,
for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all that were slain upon the earth."

Ecclesiasticus 5:1-7

1 Set not thy heart upon thy goods; 
and say not, "I have enough for my life." 
2 Follow not thine own mind and thy strength, 
to walk in the ways of thy heart. 
3 And say not, "Who shall control me in my works?" 
For the Lord will surely avenge thy pride. 
4 Say not, "I have sinned, and what harm hath happened unto me?" 
For the Lord is long-suffering; He will in no wise let thee go. 

5 Concerning propitiation, 
be not without fear, adding sin unto sin. 
6 And say not, "His mercy is great; He will be pacified for the multitude of my sins." 
For mercy and wrath come from Him, and His indignation resteth upon sinners. 
7 Do not tarry to turn to the Lord, 
and put not off from day to day. 
For suddenly shall the wrath of the Lord come forth, 
and in thy security thou shalt be destroyed and perish in the day of vengeance.


Words of Wisdom: Proverbs 30:13-14

There is a generation -- O how lofty are their eyes,
and their eyelids are lifted up!
There is a generation whose teeth are as swords,
and their jaw teeth as knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
and the needy from among men.


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