21 DEC 2013 Saturday Bible Reading

First Reading: Song of Solomon 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-18 

8 Hark! my lover-here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills.
9 My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Here he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattices.
10 My lover speaks; he says to me, “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!
11 “For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance. Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!
14 “O my dove in the clefts of the rock, in the secret recesses of the cliff, Let me see you, let me hear your voice, For your voice is sweet, and you are lovely.” 
14 Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!
15 The LORD has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.
16 On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
17 The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you,
18 as one sings at festivals. I will remove disaster from among you, so that none may recount your disgrace.
Psalm: Psalm 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21
2 Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; on the ten-stringed lyre offer praise.
3 Sing to God a new song; skillfully play with joyful chant.
11 But the plan of the LORD stands forever, wise designs through all generations.
12 Happy the nation whose God is the LORD, the people chosen as his very own.
13 From heaven
21 For in God our hearts rejoice; in your holy name we trust.
22 May your kindness, LORD, be upon us; we have put our hope in you.
Gospel: Luke 1:39-45
39 During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,
40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit,
42 cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
45 Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” 
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