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Isaiah 40:1-11 Common English Bible (CEB)

Comfort for God’s people

40 Comfort, comfort my people!
    says your God.
Speak compassionately to Jerusalem,
        and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended,
    that her penalty has been paid,
    that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins!

A voice is crying out:
“Clear the Lord’s way in the desert!
    Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!
Every valley will be raised up,
    and every mountain and hill will be flattened.
    Uneven ground will become level,
    and rough terrain a valley plain.
The Lord’s glory will appear,
    and all humanity will see it together;
    the Lord’s mouth has commanded it.”

A voice was saying:
    “Call out!”
And another[a] said,
    “What should I call out?”
All flesh is grass;
    all its loyalty is like the flowers of the field.
The grass dries up
    and the flower withers
    when the Lord’s breath blows on it.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass dries up;
    the flower withers,
    but our God’s word will exist forever.

Go up on a high mountain,
    messenger Zion!
Raise your voice and shout,
    messenger Jerusalem!
Raise it; don’t be afraid;
    say to the cities of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
10 Here is the Lord God,
    coming with strength,
    with a triumphant arm,
    bringing his reward with him
    and his payment before him.
11 Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock;
    he will gather lambs in his arms
    and lift them onto his lap.
    He will gently guide the nursing ewes.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 40:6 MT; DSS (1QIsaa), LXX I
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

2 Peter 3:8-15 Common English Bible (CEB)

Don’t let it escape your notice, dear friends, that with the Lord a single day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a single day. The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a dreadful noise, the elements will be consumed by fire, and the earth and all the works done on it will be exposed.

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be? You must live holy and godly lives, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming day of God. Because of that day, the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Preparing for Christ’s coming in judgment

14 Therefore, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found by him in peace—pure and faultless. 15 Consider the patience of our Lord to be salvation, just as our dear friend and brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him,

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 85:1-2 Common English Bible (CEB)

Psalm 85

For the music leader. Of the Korahites. A psalm.

85 Lord, you’ve been kind to your land;
    you’ve changed Jacob’s circumstances for the better.
You’ve forgiven your people’s wrongdoing;
    you’ve covered all their sins. Selah

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 85:8-13 Common English Bible (CEB)

Let me hear what the Lord God says,
    because he speaks peace to his people and to his faithful ones.
    Don’t let them return to foolish ways.
God’s salvation is very close to those who honor him
    so that his glory can live in our land.
10 Faithful love and truth have met;
    righteousness and peace have kissed.
11 Truth springs up from the ground;
    righteousness gazes down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord gives what is good,
    and our land yields its produce.
13 Righteousness walks before God,
    making a road for his steps.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Mark 1:1-8 Common English Bible (CEB)

Beginning of good news

The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God’s Son, happened just as it was written about in the prophecy of Isaiah:

Look, I am sending my messenger before you.
He will prepare your way,
a voice shouting in the wilderness:
        Prepare the way for the Lord;
        make his paths straight.”[a]

John’s preaching

John the Baptist was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. Everyone in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to the Jordan River and were being baptized by John as they confessed their sins. John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. He announced, “One stronger than I am is coming after me. I’m not even worthy to bend over and loosen the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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