As the Easter season draws to a close, countries around the world implement diverse reopening strategies after COVID-19 shut-downs. Even in these uncertain times, we rely on the stability of our faith and find sustenance in joining together for prayer, spiritual reflection, and a reading of God’s word.
The Up or Down Choice (Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 15-19, 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.
28 If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; 2 all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God:
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
15 But if you will not obey the Lord your God by diligently observing all his commandments and decrees, which I am commanding you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you:
16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.
19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
Healing in Gadarenes (Matthew 8:28-34, NRSV)
Today’s Gospel lesson is selected from the Book of Common Worship: Daily Prayer (Louisville, KY:Westminster/John Knox, 1993).
28 When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 Suddenly they shouted, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. 31 The demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And he said to them, “Go!” So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. 33 The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. 34 Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.