Isaiah 45:5-17 NRSV
A Reading from the Book of Isaiah.
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things. Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it. Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter! Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, “What are you making”? or “Your work has no handles”? Woe to anyone who says to a father, “What are you begetting?” or to a woman, “With what are you in labor? ”Thus says the Lord,the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands? I made the earth, and created humankind upon it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host, I have aroused Cyrus in righteousness, and I will make all his paths straight; he shall build my cityand set my exiles free, not for price or reward, says the Lord of hosts.Thus says the Lord: The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, tall of stature, shall come over to you and be yours, they shall follow you; they shall come over in chains and bow down to you. They will make supplication to you, saying, “God is with you alone, and there is no other; there is no god besides him. ”Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior. All of them are put to shame and confounded, the makers of idols go in confusion together. But Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Ephesians 5:15-33 NRSV
A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians.
Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Mark 4:21-34 NRSV
A Reading from the Gospel According to Mark.
Jesus said to those who were about him with the disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
The Gospel of our Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Psalms 92 NRSV
It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord, *
and to sing praises to your Name, O Most High;
To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning *
and of your faithfulness in the night season;
On the psaltery, and on the lyre, *
and to the melody of the harp.
For you have made me glad by your acts, O Lord; *
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.
Lord, how great are your works! *
your thoughts are very deep.
The dullard does not know, nor does the fool understand, *
that though the wicked grow like weeds, and all the workers of iniquity flourish,
They flourish only to be destroyed for ever; *
but you, O Lord, are exalted for evermore.
For lo, your enemies, O Lord, lo, your enemies shall perish, *
and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
But my horn you have exalted like the horns of wild bulls; *
I am anointed with fresh oil.
My eyes also gloat over my enemies, *
and my ears rejoice to hear the doom of the wicked who rise up against me.
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, *
and shall spread abroad like a cedar of Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord *
shall flourish in the courts of our God;
They shall still bear fruit in old age; *
they shall be green and succulent;
That they may show how upright the Lord is, *
my Rock, in whom there is no fault.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.