Lessons                                                                       Bread of Life                                                     18 November 2023

Zephaniah 1:7–16

7Be silent before the Lord God!

            For the day of the Lord is near;

the Lord has prepared a sacrifice

            and consecrated his guests.

8And on the day of the Lord's sacrifice—

"I will punish the officials and the king's sons

            and all who array themselves in foreign attire.

9On that day I will punish

            everyone who leaps over the threshold,

and those who fill their master's house

            with violence and fraud.

10"On that day," declares the Lord,

            "a cry will be heard from the Fish Gate,

a wail from the Second Quarter,

            a loud crash from the hills.

11Wail, O inhabitants of the Mortar!

            For all the traders are no more;

            all who weigh out silver are cut off.

12At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,

            and I will punish the men

who are complacent,

            those who say in their hearts,

‘The Lord will not do good,

            nor will he do ill.'

13Their goods shall be plundered,

            and their houses laid waste.

Though they build houses,

            they shall not inhabit them;

though they plant vineyards,

            they shall not drink wine from them."

14The great day of the Lord is near,

            near and hastening fast;

the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter;

            the mighty man cries aloud there.

15A day of wrath is that day,

            a day of distress and anguish,

a day of ruin and devastation,

            a day of darkness and gloom,

a day of clouds and thick darkness,

            16a day of trumpet blast and battle cry

against the fortified cities

            and against the lofty battlements.


Psalm 90:1–12

1Lord, you have been our | dwelling place*

            in all gener- | ations.

2Before the mountains were brought forth,

or ever you had formed the earth | and the world,*

            from everlasting to everlasting | you are God.

3You return | man to dust*

            and say, "Return, O chil- | dren of man!"

4For a thousand years in your sight

are but as yesterday when | it is past,*

            or as a watch | in the night.

5You sweep them away as | with a flood;*

            they are like a dream,

            like grass that is renewed in the | morning:

6in the morning it flourishes and | is renewed;*

            in the evening it fades and | withers.

7For we are brought to an end by your | anger;*

            by your wrath we | are dismayed.

8You have set our iniquities be- | fore you,*

            our secret sins in the light of your | presence.

9For all our days pass away un- | der your wrath;*

            we bring our years to an end | like a sigh.

10The years of our life are seventy,

or even by reason of strength | eighty;*

            yet their span is but toil and trouble;

            they are soon gone, and we | fly away.

11Who considers the power of your | anger,*

            and your wrath according to the | fear of you?

12So teach us to number | our days*

            that we may get a heart of | wisdom.

1 Thessalonians 5:1–11

            1Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Matthew 25:14–30

            14[Jesus said:] "For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.' 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 22And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.' 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' 24He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' 26But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I scattered no seed? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'"