Day 273 September 30
During the seventh month of the year, the Israelites who had settled in their towns went to Jerusalem. 2 The priest Joshua son of Jozadak, together with the other priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his relatives rebuilt the altar of Israel’s God. Then they were able to offer sacrifices there by following the instructions God had given to Moses. 3 And they built the altar where it had stood before, even though they were afraid of the people who were already living around there. Then every morning and evening they burned sacrifices and offerings to the Lord.
4 The people followed the rules for celebrating the Festival of Shelters and offered the proper sacrifices each day. 5 They offered sacrifices to please the Lord sacrifices at each New Moon Festival, and sacrifices at the rest of the Lord’s festivals. Every offering the people had brought was presented to the Lord.
6 Although work on the temple itself had not yet begun, the people started offering sacrifices on the Lord’s altar on the first day of the seventh month of that year.
7 King Cyrus of Persia had said the Israelites could have cedar trees brought from Lebanon to Joppa by sea. So they sent grain, wine, and olive oil to the cities of Tyre and Sidon as payment for these trees, and they gave money to the stoneworkers and carpenters.
8 During the second month[d] of the second year after the people had returned from Babylonia, they started rebuilding the Lord’s temple. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the priests, the Levites, and everyone else who had returned started working. Every Levite over twenty years of age was put in charge of some part of the work. 9 The Levites in charge of the whole project were Joshua and his sons and relatives and Kadmiel and his sons from the family of Hodaviah.[e] The family of Henadad worked along with them.
10 When the builders had finished laying the foundation of the temple, the priests put on their robes and blew trumpets in honor of the Lord, while the Levites from the family of Asaph praised God with cymbals. All of them followed the instructions given years before by King David.[f] 11 They praised the Lord and gave thanks as they took turns singing:
“The Lord is good!
His faithful love for Israel
will last forever.”
Everyone started shouting and praising the Lord because work on the foundation of the temple had begun. 12 Many of the older priests and Levites and the heads of families cried aloud because they remembered seeing the first temple years before. But others were so happy that they celebrated with joyful shouts. 13 Their shouting and crying were so noisy that it all sounded alike and could be heard a long way off.
1 Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2 For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?
Prayer: of your love, O Lord, forever will I sing. Amen.