Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Fourth Day of Assumption
Song of Solomon 4:9-15
 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.
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 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.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America