Sunday, December 13, 2020
Fourth Sunday of Heesnag
 In those days Hezeki’ah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: Set your house in order; for you shall die, you shall not recover.”
 Then Hezeki’ah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the LORD,
 and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in thy sight.” And Hezeki’ah wept bitterly.
 Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah:
 “Go and say to Hezeki’ah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.
 I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city.
 “This is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he has promised:
 Behold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.
 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets;
 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.
 For to what angel did God ever say,
“Thou art my Son,
today I have begotten thee”?
Or again, “I will be to him a father,
and he shall be to me a son”?
 And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”
 Of the angels he says, “Who makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
 But of the Son he says,
“Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever,
the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom.
 Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee
with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades.”
 And, “Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of thy hands;
 they will perish, but thou remainest;
they will all grow old like a garment,
 like a mantle thou wilt roll them up,
and they will be changed.
But thou art the same,
and thy years will never end.”
 But to what angel has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand,
till I make thy enemies
a stool for thy feet”?
 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?
 And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!
 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.
 Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him;
 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, `I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
 And the Lord said, “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, `Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
 “Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, `Come at once and sit down at table’?
 Will he not rather say to him, `Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’?
 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
 So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America