Thursday, April 7, 2022
Feast of the Annunciation to the Mother of God,
Thirty-Ninth Day of Great Lent
Song of Solomon 1:2-11
II Corinthians 6:16-7:1
I Timothy 3:14-16
Song of Solomon 1:2-11
 O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth!
For your love is better than wine,
 your anointing oils are fragrant,
your name is oil poured out;
therefore the maidens love you.
 Draw me after you, let us make haste.
The king has brought me into his chambers.
We will exult and rejoice in you;
we will extol your love more than wine;
rightly do they love you.
 I am very dark, but comely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
like the curtains of Solomon.
 Do not gaze at me because I am swarthy,
because the sun has scorched me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me,
they made me keeper of the vineyards;
but, my own vineyard I have not kept!
 Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who wanders
beside the flocks of your companions?
 If you do not know,
O fairest among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock,
and pasture your kids
beside the shepherds’ tents.
 I compare you, my love,
to a mare of Pharaoh’s chariots.
 Your cheeks are comely with ornaments,
your neck with strings of jewels.
 We will make you ornaments of gold,
studded with silver.
 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
but lawlessness takes away lives.
 If the righteous is requited on earth,
how much more the wicked and the sinner!
 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates reproof is stupid.
 A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but a man of evil devices he condemns.
 A man is not established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
 A good wife is the crown of her husband,
but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good tidings,
who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
 Hark, your watchmen lift up their voice,
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the LORD to Zion.
 Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem;
for the LORD has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
 The LORD has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the LORD.
 And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
 And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.”
 Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
 “Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?
“For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;
II Corinthians 6:16-7:1
 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
 Therefore come out from them,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch nothing unclean;
then I will welcome you,
 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.
 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
 And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”
 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
 and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
 And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?”
 And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born will be called holy,
the Son of God.
 And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; it was full of bones.
 And he led me round among them; and behold, there were very many upon the valley; and lo, they were very dry.
 And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, thou knowest.”
 Again he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.
 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone.
 And as I looked, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.
 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.”
 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great host.
 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, `Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.’
 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you home into the land of Israel.
 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.
 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done it, says the LORD.”
I Timothy 3:14-16
 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that,
 if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.
 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion: He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the Spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America