Thursday, December 24, 2020
St. David, Prophet and King,
St. James, Apostle and Brother of the Lord
II Samuel 5:1-10
I Kings 2:1-11
II Samuel 5:1-10
 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh.
 In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you that led out and brought in Israel; and the LORD said to you, `You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’”
 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.
 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.
 At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.
 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jeb’usites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off” — thinking, “David cannot come in here.”
 Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David.
 And David said on that day, “Whoever would smite the Jeb’usites, let him get up the water shaft to attack the lame and the blind, who are hated by David’s soul.” Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.”
 And David dwelt in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. And David built the city round about from the Millo inward.
 And David became greater and greater, for the LORD, the God of hosts, was with him.
I Kings 2:1-11
 When David’s time to die drew near, he charged Solomon his son, saying,
 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man,
 and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn;
 that the LORD may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, `If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a man on the throne of Israel.’
 “Moreover you know also what Jo’ab the son of Zeru’iah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Ama’sa the son of Jether, whom he murdered, avenging in time of peace blood which had been shed in war, and putting innocent blood upon the girdle about my loins, and upon the sandals on my feet.
 Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace.
 But deal loyally with the sons of Barzil’lai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table; for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from Ab’salom your brother.
 And there is also with you Shim’e-i the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahu’rim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahana’im; but when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD, saying, `I will not put you to death with the sword.’
 Now therefore hold him not guiltless, for you are a wise man; you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”
 Then David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
 And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
 “Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
 Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad,
 I will save my flock, they shall no longer be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
 And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.
 “I will make with them a covenant of peace and banish wild beasts from the land, so that they may dwell securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.
 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.
 And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them.
 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greeting.
 Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials,
 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him.
 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
[7,8] For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.
 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation,
 and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away.
 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.
 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
 saying, “What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.”
 He said to them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
 `The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
till I put thy enemies under thy feet’?
 If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?”
 And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did any one dare to ask him any more questions.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America