Day 317 November 13
40 Then both groups of those who gave thanks stood in God’s house. I was there too along with the half of the officials who were with me. 41 Also there were the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah with trumpets. 42 Also there were Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader.
43 They offered great sacrifices on that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy. The women and children also rejoiced, and the sound of the joy in Jerusalem could be heard from far away.
44 On that day, people were appointed over the rooms for the things to be stored, the contributions, the early produce, and the tenth-part gifts. They were to gather into them the portions required by the Instruction for the priests and for the Levites from the fields belonging to the towns, for the people of Judah were delighted with the ministry of the priests and the Levites.
45 They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the command of David and his son Solomon.
46 Long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there was a leader of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanks to God.
47 In the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah all Israel gave the daily portions for the singers and the gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the Aaronites.
2 Corinthians 2:1-11
So I made up my mind not to come to you again to make you sad. 2 For if I were to make you sad, who would be left to cheer me up? Only the very persons I had made sad. 3 That is why I wrote that letter to you—I did not want to come to you and be made sad by the very people who should make me glad. For I am convinced that when I am happy, then all of you are happy too. 4 I wrote you with a greatly troubled and distressed heart and with many tears; my purpose was not to make you sad, but to make you realize how much I love you all.
5 Now, if anyone has made somebody sad, he has not done it to me but to all of you—in part, at least. (I say this because I do not want to be too hard on him.) 6 It is enough that this person has been punished in this way by most of you. 7 Now, however, you should forgive him and encourage him, in order to keep him from becoming so sad as to give up completely. 8 And so I beg you to let him know that you really do love him. 9 I wrote you that letter because I wanted to find out how well you had stood the test and whether you are always ready to obey my instructions. 10 When you forgive people for what they have done, I forgive them too. For when I forgive—if, indeed, I need to forgive anything—I do it in Christ’s presence because of you, 11 in order to keep Satan from getting the upper hand over us; for we know what his plans are.
1 Peter 2:11-17
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge.
13 For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, 14 or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. 16 As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil. 17 Honor everyone. Love the family of believers. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
Comment: the image of aliens and exiles is based on our foundation as people of God before any citizenship to nationality. And at this time the Church was spread around so many may have felt the pain of being displaced from familial home; our true home is always with God.
Prayer: may your presence go with us into ministry this day, dear Lord, for without you how could we exist? Amen.