Sunday, August 15, 2021
Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God
Song of Solomon 4:9-15
Song of Solomon 4:9-15
 You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride,
you have ravished my heart with a glance of your eyes,
with one jewel of your necklace.
 How sweet is your love, my sister, my bride!
how much better is your love than wine,
and the fragrance of your oils than any spice!
 Your lips distil nectar, my bride;
honey and milk are under your tongue;
the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.
 A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
a garden locked, a fountain sealed.
 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
with all choicest fruits,
henna with nard,
 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes,
with all chief spices —
 a garden fountain, a well of living water,
and flowing streams from Lebanon.
 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz,
 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”
 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.”
 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also?
 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el.
 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.
 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate;
 but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father.
 So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe.
 But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
 So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.
 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.
 Now a certain man was ill, Laz’arus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Laz’arus was ill.
 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”
 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.”
 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Laz’arus.
 So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.”
 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”
 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
 But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
 Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, “Our friend Laz’arus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.”
 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.
 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Laz’arus is dead;
 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
 Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
 Now when Jesus came, he found that Laz’arus had already been in the tomb four days.
 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,
 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house.
 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
 And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world.”
 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”
 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
 Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled;
 and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”
 Jesus wept.
 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”
 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
 I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me.”
 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Laz’arus, come out.”
 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him;
 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.
 This was the first enrollment, when Quirin’i-us was governor of Syria.
 And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.
 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
 And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.
 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
 Honor the LORD with your substance
and with the first fruits of all your produce;
 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
 Thus says the LORD:
“As the wine is found in the cluster,
and they say, `Do not destroy it,
for there is a blessing in it,’
so I will do for my servants’ sake,
and not destroy them all.
 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
and from Judah inheritors of my mountains;
my chosen shall inherit it,
and my servants shall dwell there.
 Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks,
and the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
for my people who have sought me.
 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us.
 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain,
 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchiz’edek.
 For this Melchiz’edek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him;
 and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.
 He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever.
 See how great he is! Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe of the spoils.
 And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brethren, though these also are descended from Abraham.
 But this man who has not their genealogy received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
 It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.
 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
 Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
 You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you.
 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.
 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah,
 and she entered the house of Zechari’ah and greeted Elizabeth.
 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.
 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
 And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
 So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag’dalene.
 When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
 After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the scripture), “I thirst.”
 A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth.
 When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America