Daily Bible Readinghttp://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/Romans 8:22-27http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/455http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/455<div class="ExternalClass098E5CA562274C4BB57AAE6E2274F316"><p>​<strong>Day of Pentecost</strong></p> <p>We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.</p><p>Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.</p></div>05/24/2015Psalm 33:12-22http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/454http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/454<div class="ExternalClassCE97CB7EE1194CB48346345A82A68620">Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD,<br> the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.<br> The LORD looks down from heaven;<br> he sees all humankind.<br> From where he sits enthroned he watches<br> all the inhabitants of the earth — <br>he who fashions the hearts of them all,<br> and observes all their deeds.<br> A king is not saved by his great army;<br> a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.<br> The war horse is a vain hope for victory,<br> and by its great might it cannot save.<br> Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,<br> on those who hope in his steadfast love,<br> to deliver their soul from death,<br> and to keep them alive in famine.<br> Our soul waits for the LORD;<br> he is our help and shield.<br> Our heart is glad in him,<br> because we trust in his holy name.<br> Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,<br> even as we hope in you.</div>05/22/20151 Corinthians 15:42b-49http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/453http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/453<div class="ExternalClass5F435F9B35CA437787A19A751481E310">​What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, &quot;The first man, Adam, became a living being&quot;; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.</div>05/21/2015Ezra 9:5-15http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/452http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/452<div class="ExternalClassF7CFC178611846CFA8C8913DEA721625"><p>At the evening sacrifice I got up from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle torn, and fell on my knees, spread out my hands to the LORD my God, and said,</p><p>&quot;O my God, I am too ashamed and embarrassed to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors to this day we have been deep in guilt, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as is now the case. But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, who has left us a remnant, and given us a stake in his holy place, in order that he may brighten our eyes and grant us a little sustenance in our slavery. For we are slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to give us new life to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem.</p><p>And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, 'The land that you are entering to possess is a land unclean with the pollutions of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations. They have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, so that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.' After all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, hall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you destroy us without remnant or survivor? O LORD, God of Israel, you are just, but we have escaped as a remnant, as is now the case. Here we are before you in our guilt, though no one can face you because of this.&quot;</p></div>05/20/2015Numbers 8:5-22http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/451http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/451<div class="ExternalClassDE70A91DDB6E46299C29AFA979712054"><p>The LORD spoke to Moses, saying&#58; Take the Levites from among the Israelites and cleanse them. Thus you shall do to them, to cleanse them&#58; sprinkle the water of purification on them, have them shave their whole body with a razor and wash their clothes, and so cleanse themselves. Then let them take a young bull and its grain offering of choice flour mixed with oil, and you shall take another young bull for a sin offering. You shall bring the Levites before the tent of meeting, and assemble the whole congregation of the Israelites. When you bring the Levites before the LORD, the Israelites shall lay their hands on the Levites, and Aaron shall present the Levites before the LORD as an elevation offering from the Israelites, that they may do the service of the LORD. The Levites shall lay their hands on the heads of the bulls, and he shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering to the LORD, to make atonement for the Levites. Then you shall have the Levites stand before Aaron and his sons, and you shall present them as an elevation offering to the LORD.</p><p>Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the other Israelites, and the Levites shall be mine. Thereafter the Levites may go in to do service at the tent of meeting, once you have cleansed them and presented them as an elevation offering. For they are unreservedly given to me from among the Israelites; I have taken them for myself, in place of all that open the womb, the firstborn of all the Israelites. For all the firstborn among the Israelites are mine, both human and animal. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I consecrated them for myself, but I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn among the Israelites. Moreover, I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites, to do the service for the Israelites at the tent of meeting, and to make atonement for the Israelites, in order that there may be no plague among the Israelites for coming too close to the sanctuary.</p><p>Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation of the Israelites did with the Levites accordingly; the Israelites did with the Levites just as the LORD had commanded Moses concerning them. The Levites purified themselves from sin and washed their clothes; then Aaron presented them as an elevation offering before the LORD, and Aaron made atonement for them to cleanse them. Thereafter the Levites went in to do their service in the tent of meeting in attendance on Aaron and his sons. As the LORD had commanded Moses concerning the Levites, so they did with them.</p></div>05/19/2015Exodus 28:29-38http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/450http://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/450<div class="ExternalClassD1A4117A2C1A4F1E81ED75328553CD2C"><p>So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart when he goes into the holy place, for a continual remembrance before the LORD. In the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron's heart when he goes in before the LORD; thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the Israelites on his heart before the LORD continually.</p><p>You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue. It shall have an opening for the head in the middle of it, with a woven binding around the opening, like the opening in a coat of mail, so that it may not be torn. On its lower hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, all around the lower hem, with bells of gold between them all around — a golden bell and a pomegranate alternating all around the lower hem of the robe. Aaron shall wear it when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the holy place before the LORD, and when he comes out, so that he may not die.</p><p>You shall make a rosette of pure gold, and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, &quot;Holy to the LORD.&quot; You shall fasten it on the turban with a blue cord; it shall be on the front of the turban. It shall be on Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall take on himself any guilt incurred in the holy offering that the Israelites consecrate as their sacred donations; it shall always be on his forehead, in order that they may find favor before the LORD.</p></div>05/18/2015