Monday, January 4, 2021
Sixth Day of the Fast of Nativity
 And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? — “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor lose courage when you are punished by him.
 For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
 For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.
 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
 Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
 See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled;
 that no one be immoral or irreligious like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal.
 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
 But he said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is David’s son?
 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms, `The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
 till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.’
 David thus calls him Lord; so how is he his son?”
 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples,
 “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and love salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts,
 who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
 He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury;
 and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins.
 And he said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them;
 for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.”
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America