January 20 - Luke 15, Genesis 27.1-45 and Psalm 20
3Then Jesus told them this story:
4If any of you has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, what will you do? Won't you leave the ninety-nine in the field and go look for the lost sheep until you find it? 5And when you find it, you will be so glad that you will put it on your shoulder 6and carry it home. Then you will call in your friends and neighbors and say, "Let's celebrate! I've found my lost sheep."
7Jesus said, "In the same way there is more happiness in heaven because of one sinner who turns to God than over ninety-nine good people who don't need to."
One Coin8Jesus told the people another story:
What will a woman do if she has ten silver coins and loses one of them? Won't she light a lamp, sweep the floor, and look carefully until she finds it? 9Then she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, "Let's celebrate! I've found the coin I lost."
10Jesus said, "In the same way God's angels are happy when even one person turns to him."
Two Sons11Jesus also told them another story:
Once a man had two sons. 12The younger son said to his father, "Give me my share of the property." So the father divided his property between his two sons.
13Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. 14He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat.
15He went to work for a man in that country, and the man sent him out to take care of his pigs. 16He would have been glad to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him a thing.
17Finally, he came to his senses and said, "My father's workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! 18I will go to my father and say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. 19I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.' "
20The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him.
21The son said, "Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son."
22But his father said to the servants, "Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. 24This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found." And they began to celebrate.
25The older son had been out in the field. But when he came near the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants over and asked, "What's going on here?"
27The servant answered, "Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father ordered us to kill the best calf." 28The older brother got so angry that he would not even go into the house.
His father came out and begged him to go in. 29But he said to his father, "For years I have worked for you like a slave and have always obeyed you. But you have never even given me a little goat, so that I could give a dinner for my friends. 30This other son of yours wasted your money on prostitutes. And now that he has come home, you ordered the best calf to be killed for a feast."
31His father replied, "My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we should be glad and celebrate! Your brother was dead, but he is now alive. He was lost and has now been found."
Isaac Blesses JacobGenesis 27 After Isaac had become old and almost blind, he called in his first-born son Esau, who asked him, "Father, what can I do for you?"
2Isaac replied, "I am old and might die at any time. 3So take your bow and arrows, then go out in the fields, and kill a wild animal. 4Cook some of that tasty food that I love so much and bring it to me. I want to eat it once more and give you my blessing before I die."
5Rebekah had been listening, and as soon as Esau left to go hunting, 6she said to Jacob, "I heard your father tell Esau 7to kill a wild animal and cook some tasty food for your father before he dies. Your father said this because he wants to bless your brother with the LORD as his witness. 8Now, my son, listen carefully to what I want you to do. 9Go and kill two of your best young goats and bring them to me. I'll cook the tasty food that your father loves so much. 10Then you can take it to him, so he can eat it and give you his blessing before he dies."
11"My brother Esau is a hairy man," Jacob reminded her. "And I am not. 12If my father touches me and realizes I am trying to trick him, he will put a curse on me instead of giving me a blessing."
13Rebekah insisted, "Let his curse fall on me! Just do what I say and bring me the meat." 14So Jacob brought the meat to his mother, and she cooked the tasty food that his father liked. 15Then she took Esau's best clothes and put them on Jacob. 16She also covered the smooth part of his hands and neck with goatskins 17and gave him some bread and the tasty food she had cooked.
18Jacob went to his father and said, "Father, here I am."
"Which one of my sons are you?" his father asked.
19Jacob replied, "I am Esau, your first-born, and I have done what you told me. Please sit up and eat the meat I have brought. Then you can give me your blessing."
20Isaac asked, "My son, how did you find an animal so quickly?"
"The LORD your God was kind to me," Jacob answered.
21"My son," Isaac said, "come closer, where I can touch you and find out if you really are Esau." 22Jacob went closer. His father touched him and said, "You sound like Jacob, but your hands feel hairy like Esau's." 23And so Isaac blessed Jacob, thinking he was Esau.
24Isaac asked, "Are you really my son Esau?"
"Yes, I am," Jacob answered.
25So Isaac told him, "Serve me the wild meat, and I can give you my blessing."
Jacob gave him some meat, and he ate it. He also gave him some wine, and he drank it. 26Then Isaac said, "Son, come over here and kiss me." 27While Jacob was kissing him, Isaac caught the smell of his clothes and said:
"The smell of my son
is like a field the LORD has blessed.
28God will bless you, my son, with dew from heaven
and with fertile fields, rich with grain and grapes.
29Nations will be your servants and bow down to you.
You will rule over your brothers,
and they will kneel at your feet.
Anyone who curses you will be cursed;
anyone who blesses you will be blessed."
30Right after Isaac had given Jacob his blessing and Jacob had gone, Esau came back from hunting. 31He cooked the tasty food, brought it to his father, and said, "Father, please sit up and eat the meat I have brought you, so you can give me your blessing."
32"Who are you?" Isaac asked.
"I am Esau, your first-born son."
33Isaac started trembling and said, "Then who brought me some wild meat right before you came in? I ate it and gave him a blessing that cannot be taken back."
34Esau cried loudly and begged, "Father, give me a blessing too!"
35Isaac answered, "Your brother tricked me and stole your blessing."
36Esau replied, "My brother deserves the name Jacob, because he has already cheated me twice. The first time he cheated me out of my rights as the first-born son, and now he has cheated me out of my blessing." Then Esau asked his father, "Don't you still have any blessing left for me?"
37"My son," Isaac answered, "I have made Jacob the ruler over you and your brothers, and all of you will be his servants. I have also promised him all the grain and grapes that he needs. There's nothing left that I can do for you."
38"Father," Esau asked, "don't you have more than one blessing? You can surely give me a blessing too!" Then Esau started crying again.
39So his father said:
"Your home will be far from that fertile land,
where dew comes down from the heavens.
40You will live by the power of your sword
and be your brother's slave.
But when you decide to be free, you will break loose."
41Esau hated his brother Jacob because he had stolen the blessing that was supposed to be his. So he said to himself, "Just as soon as my father dies, I'll kill Jacob."
42When Rebekah found out what Esau planned to do, she sent for Jacob and told him, "Son, your brother Esau is just waiting for the time when he can kill you. 43Now listen carefully and do what I say. Go to the home of my brother Laban in Haran 44and stay with him for a while. When Esau stops being angry 45and forgets what you have done to him, I'll send for you to come home. Why should I lose both of my sons on the same day?"
1I pray that the LORD will listen
when you are in trouble,
and that the God of Jacob will keep you safe.
2May the LORD send help from his temple
and come to your rescue from Mount Zion.
3May he remember your gifts
and be pleased with what you bring.
4May God do what you want most
and let all go well for you.
5Then you will win victories, and we will celebrate,
while raising our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD answer all of your prayers!
6I am certain, LORD, that you will help your chosen king.
You will answer my prayers
from your holy place in heaven,
and you will save me with your mighty arm.
7Some people trust the power of chariots or horses,
but we trust you, LORD God.
8Others will stumble and fall,
but we will be strong and stand firm.
9Give the king victory, LORD, and answer our prayers.
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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