The Lessons Appointed for Use on the
Fourth Sunday in Lent
1 Samuel 16:1-13
Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ
came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world:
Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who
lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve
over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn
with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I
have provided for myself a king among his sons." Samuel said, "How can I
go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me." And the Lord said, "Take a
heifer with you, and say, `I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' Invite
Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you
shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you." Samuel did what the Lord
commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him
trembling, and said, "Do you come peaceably?" He said, "Peaceably; I have
come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the
sacrifice." And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's
anointed is now before the Lord." But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not
look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have
rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the
outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." Then Jesse called
Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, "Neither has the Lord
chosen this one." Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither
has the Lord chosen this one." Jesse made seven of his sons pass before
Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen any of these."
Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There
remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to
Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here."
He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and
was handsome. The Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; for this is the one."
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his
brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that
day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you
are light. Live as children of light-- for the fruit of the light is found
in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing
to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead
expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do
secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for
everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."
As he walked along, Jesus saw a man blind from
birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his
parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor
his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God's works might be
revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is
day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I
am the light of the world." When he had said this, he spat on the ground
and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man's eyes, saying
to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). Then he went
and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen
him before as a beggar began to ask, "Is this not the man who used to sit
and beg?" Some were saying, "It is he." Others were saying, "No, but it is
someone like him." He kept saying, "I am the man." But they kept asking
him, "Then how were your eyes opened?" He answered, "The man called Jesus
made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, `Go to Siloam and wash.'
Then I went and washed and received my sight." They said to him, "Where is
he?" He said, "I do not know."
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it
was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the
Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to
them, "He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see." Some of the
Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not observe the
sabbath." But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner perform such
signs?" And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, "What
do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened." He said, "He is a
The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his
sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight
and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then
does he now see?" His parents answered, "We know that this is our son, and
that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor
do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for
himself." His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for
the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the
Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, "He
is of age; ask him."
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they
said to him, "Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner." He
answered, "I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that
though I was blind, now I see." They said to him, "What did he do to you?
How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I have told you already,
and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also
want to become his disciples?" Then they reviled him, saying, "You are his
disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to
Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from." The man
answered, "Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes
from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to
sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will.
Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes
of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do
nothing." They answered him, "You were born entirely in sins, and are you
trying to teach us?" And they drove him out.
Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him." Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he." He said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped him. Jesus said, "I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, "Surely we are not blind, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, `We see,' your sin remains."
The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.
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