Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord and bless his name;
tell out his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations and his wonders among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised;
he is more to be feared than all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are but idols;
it is the Lord who made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before him;
power and splendour are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples;
ascribe to the Lord honour and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the honour due to his name;
bring offerings and come into his courts.
O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
let the whole earth tremble before him.
Tell it out among the nations that the Lord is king.
He has made the world so firm that it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad;
let the sea thunder and all that is in it;
Let the fields be joyful and all that is in them;
let all the trees of the wood shout for joy before the Lord.
For he comes, he comes to judge the earth;
with righteousness he will judge the world and the peoples with his truth.
The Lord is king: let the earth rejoice;
let the multitude of the isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him and burns up his enemies on every side.
His lightnings lit up the world; the earth saw it and trembled.
The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declared his righteousness and all the peoples have seen his glory.
Confounded be all who worship carved images and delight in mere idols.
Bow down before him, all you gods.
Zion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced, because of your judgements, O Lord.
For you, Lord, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
The Lord loves those who hate evil;
he preserves the lives of his faithful and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light has sprung up for the righteous and joy for the true of heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name.
O be joyful in the Lord, all the earth;
serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a song.
Know that the Lord is God;
it is he that has made us and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and bless his name.
For the Lord is gracious; his steadfast love is everlasting,
and his faithfulness endures from generation to generation.
2 Chronicles 24.1-22
Joash was seven years old when he began to reign; he reigned for forty years in Jerusalem; his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of the priest Jehoiada. Jehoiada got two wives for him, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
Some time afterwards Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord. He assembled the priests and the Levites and said to them, ‘Go out to the cities of Judah and gather money from all Israel to repair the house of your God, year by year; and see that you act quickly.’ But the Levites did not act quickly. So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief, and said to him, ‘Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of the Lord, on the congregation of Israel for the tent of the covenant?’ For the children of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had even used all the dedicated things of the house of the Lord for the Baals.
So the king gave command, and they made a chest, and set it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in for the Lord the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness. All the leaders and all the people rejoiced, and brought their tax and dropped it into the chest until it was full. Whenever the chest was brought to the king’s officers by the Levites, when they saw that there was a large amount of money in it, the king’s secretary and the officer of the chief priest would come and empty the chest and take it and return it to its place. So they did day after day, and collected money in abundance. The king and Jehoiada gave it to those who had charge of the work of the house of the Lord, and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the Lord, and also workers in iron and bronze to repair the house of the Lord. So those who were engaged in the work laboured, and the repairs went forward at their hands, and they restored the house of God to its proper condition and strengthened it. When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made utensils for the house of the Lord, utensils for the service and for the burnt-offerings, and ladles, and vessels of gold and silver. They offered burnt-offerings in the house of the Lord regularly all the days of Jehoiada.
But Jehoiada grew old and full of days, and died; he was one hundred and thirty years old at his death. And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and for God and his house.
Now after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and did obeisance to the king; then the king listened to them. They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and served the sacred poles and the idols. And wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs. Yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord; they testified against them, but they would not listen.
Then the spirit of God took possession of Zechariah son of the priest Jehoiada; he stood above the people and said to them, ‘Thus says God: Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has also forsaken you.’ But they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the Lord. King Joash did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. As he was dying, he said, ‘May the Lord see and avenge!’
Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
Later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were sitting at the table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and stubbornness, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.
Almighty and everlasting God,
increase in us your gift of faith
that, forsaking what lies behind
and reaching out to that which is before,
we may run the way of your commandments
and win the crown of everlasting joy;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.