Psalm 49 (CSB)
MISPLACED TRUST IN WEALTH
For the choir director. A psalm of the sons of Korah.
1 Hear this, all you peoples;
listen, all who inhabit the world,
2 both low and high,
rich and poor together.
3 My mouth speaks wisdom;
my heart’s meditation brings understanding.
4 I turn my ear to a proverb;
I explain my riddle with a lyre.
5 Why should I fear in times of trouble?
The iniquity of my foes surrounds me.
6 They trust in their wealth
and boast of their abundant riches.
7 Yet these cannot redeem a person
or pay his ransom to God—
8 since the price of redeeming him is too costly,
one should forever stop trying,—
9 so that he may live forever
and not see the Pit.
10 For one can see that the wise die;
the foolish and stupid also pass away.
Then they leave their wealth to others.
11 Their graves are their permanent homes,
their dwellings from generation to generation,
though they have named estates after themselves.
12 But despite his assets, mankind will not last;
he is like the animals that perish.
13 This is the way of those who are arrogant,
and of their followers,
who approve of their words.,
14 Like sheep they are headed for Sheol;
Death will shepherd them.
The upright will rule over them in the morning,
and their form will waste away in Sheol,
far from their lofty abode.
15 But God will redeem me
from the power of Sheol,
for he will take me.
16 Do not be afraid when a person gets rich,
when the wealth of his house increases.
17 For when he dies, he will take nothing at all;
his wealth will not follow him down.
18 Though he blesses himself during his lifetime—
and you are acclaimed when you do well for yourself—
19 he will go to the generation of his fathers;
they will never see the light.
20 Mankind, with his assets
but without understanding,
is like the animals that perish.
Proverbs 9:16–18 (CSB)
16 “Whoever is inexperienced, enter here!”
To the one who lacks sense, she says,
17 “Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten secretly is tasty!”
18 But he doesn’t know that the departed spirits are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
Luke 1:1–38 (CSB)
THE DEDICATION TO THEOPHILUS
1 Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. 3 It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.,
GABRIEL PREDICTS JOHN’S BIRTH
5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.
8 When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified and overcome with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14 There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or beer. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.”
18 “How can I know this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”
19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news. 20 Now listen. You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was making signs to them and remained speechless. 23 When the days of his ministry were completed, he went back home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said, 25 “The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people.”
GABRIEL PREDICTS JESUS’S BIRTH
26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged, to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?”
35 The angel replied to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.