This pandemic is far from over and as days drag into weeks and months, we feel the strain physically, economically, and spiritually. In this fifth week of Eastertide, we continue the practice of daily Scripture readings and prayers so that we might find assurance and cause for hope in looking to Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Jerusalem Defeated, Zedekiah Exiled (2 Kings 24:20 – 25:7, NRSV)
The Home Daily Bible Readings for Monday through Saturday are selected in support of the print passage for Sunday’s lesson in the Uniform Lessons Series, ©Spring 2020.
24 20 Indeed, Jerusalem and Judah so angered the Lord that he expelled them from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
25 1 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem, and laid siege to it; they built siegeworks against it all around. 2 So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine became so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city wall; the king with all the soldiers fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. They went in the direction of the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; all his army was scattered, deserting him. 6 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, who passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, then put out the eyes of Zedekiah; they bound him in fetters and took him to Babylon.
The Narrow Gate (Matthew 7:13-21, NRSV)
Today’s Gospel lesson is selected from the Book of Common Worship: Daily Prayer (Louisville, KY:Westminster/John Knox, 1993).
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.