Isaiah 45:1-7

45Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
whose right hand I have grasped
to subdue nations before him
and strip kings of their robes,
to open doors before him—
and the gates shall not be closed: 
2 I will go before you
and level the mountains,*
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
and cut through the bars of iron, 
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness
and riches hidden in secret places,
so that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
the God of Israel, who call you by your name. 
4 For the sake of my servant Jacob,
and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
I surname you, though you do not know me. 
5 I am the Lord, and there is no other;
besides me there is no god.
I arm you, though you do not know me, 
6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other. 
7 I form light and create darkness,
I make weal and create woe;
I the Lord do all these things.

Psalm 96


1 O sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth. 
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day. 
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvellous works among all the peoples. 
4 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be revered above all gods. 
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens. 
6 Honour and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.


7 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts. 
9 Worship the Lord in holy splendour;
tremble before him, all the earth.


10 Say among the nations, ‘The Lord is king!
The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
He will judge the peoples with equity.’ 
11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 
12   let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 
13   before the Lord; for he is coming,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with his truth.

1 Thessalonians 1: 1-10

1Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace.

2 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we know, brothers and sisters* beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of people we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit,7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place where your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9For the people of those regions* report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

Matthew 22: 15-22

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said.16So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. 17Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?’ 18But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? 19Show me the coin used for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius. 20Then he said to them, ‘Whose head is this, and whose title?’ 21They answered, ‘The emperor’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.