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Friday, March 29th, 2024

Psalm 135:1–4, 8–9

1Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord,
give praise, O servants of the Lord,
2who stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God!
3Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
4For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel as his own possession.

8He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
both of man and of beast;
9who in your midst, O Egypt,
sent signs and wonders
against Pharaoh and all his servants;

Old Testament Reading Exodus 12:29–32; 13:1–16

29At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead. 31Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. 32Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!” . . .

1The Lord said to Moses, 2“Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”

3Then Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by a strong hand the Lord brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten. 4Today, in the month of Abib, you are going out. 5And when the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, you shall keep this service in this month. 6Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. 7Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory. 8You shall tell your son on that day, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ 9And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth. For with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt. 10You shall therefore keep this statute at its appointed time from year to year.

11“When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, as he swore to you and your fathers, and shall give it to you, 12you shall set apart to the Lord all that first opens the womb. All the firstborn of your animals that are males shall be the Lord’s. 13Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. Every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. 14And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. 15For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of animals. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ 16It shall be as a mark on your hand or frontlets between your eyes, for by a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”

New Testament Reading Hebrews 6

1Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And this we will do if God permits. 4For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

9Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. 11And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

13For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.