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Isaiah 40:1-11 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

God’s People Are Comforted

40 Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that her warfare[a] is ended,
    that her iniquity is pardoned,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
    and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
    surely the people is grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
    but the word of our God will stand for ever.

Get you up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good tidings;[b]
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,[c]
    lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd,
    he will gather the lambs in his arms,
he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:2 Or time of service
  2. Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good tidings to Zion
  3. Isaiah 40:9 Or O herald of good tidings to Jerusalem
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 85 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Prayer for the Restoration of God’s Favor

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

85 Lord, thou wast favorable to thy land;
    thou didst restore the fortunes of Jacob.
Thou didst forgive the iniquity of thy people;
    thou didst pardon all their sin. Selah
Thou didst withdraw all thy wrath;
    thou didst turn from thy hot anger.

Restore us again, O God of our salvation,
    and put away thy indignation toward us!
Wilt thou be angry with us for ever?
    Wilt thou prolong thy anger to all generations?
Wilt thou not revive us again,
    that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Show us thy steadfast love, O Lord,
    and grant us thy salvation.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
    for he will speak peace to his people,
    to his saints, to those who turn to him in their hearts.[a]
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
    that glory may dwell in our land.

10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
    righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
    and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 Yea, the Lord will give what is good,
    and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him,
    and make his footsteps a way.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 85:8 Gk: Heb but let them not turn back to folly
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mark 1:1-8 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

The Proclamation of John the Baptist

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[a]

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,[b]

“Behold, I send my messenger before thy face,
who shall prepare thy way;
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight—”

John the baptizer appeared[c] in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 1:1 Other ancient authorities omit the Son of God
  2. Mark 1:2 Other ancient authorities read in the prophets
  3. Mark 1:4 Other ancient authorities read John was baptizing
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Peter 3:8-15 Revised Standard Version (RSV)

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening[b] the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! 13 But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Final Exhortation and Doxology

14 Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Peter 3:9 Other ancient authorities read on your account
  2. 2 Peter 3:12 Or earnestly desiring
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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