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Psalm 126

(A song for worship.)

Celebrating the Harvest

126 It seemed like a dream
when the Lord brought us back
    to the city of Zion.[a]
We celebrated with laughter
    and joyful songs.
In foreign nations it was said,
    “The Lord has worked miracles
    for his people.”
And so we celebrated
    because the Lord had indeed
    worked miracles for us.

Our Lord, we ask you to bless
    our people again,
    and let us be like streams
    in the Southern Desert.
We cried as we went out
    to plant our seeds.
    Now let us celebrate
    as we bring in the crops.
We cried on the way
    to plant our seeds,
    but we will celebrate and shout
    as we bring in the crops.

Footnotes:

  1. 126.1 brought. . . Zion: Or “made the city of Zion prosperous again.”
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Isaiah 40:1-11

Encourage God’s People

40 Our God has said:

“Encourage my people!
    Give them comfort.
Speak kindly to Jerusalem
    and announce:
Your slavery is past;
    your punishment is over.
I, the Lord, made you pay
    double for your sins.”

Someone is shouting:
“Clear a path in the desert!
    Make a straight road
    for the Lord our God.
Fill in the valleys;
flatten every hill
    and mountain.
Level the rough
    and rugged ground.
Then the glory of the Lord
    will appear for all to see.
The Lord has promised this!”

Someone told me to shout,
and I asked,
    “What should I shout?”
We humans are merely grass,
and we last no longer
    than wild flowers.
At the Lord’s command,
flowers and grass disappear,
    and so do we.
Flowers and grass fade away,
but what our God has said
    will never change.

Your God Is Here!

There is good news
    for the city of Zion.
Shout it as loud as you can[a]
    from the highest mountain.
Don’t be afraid to shout
to the towns of Judah,
    “Your God is here!”
10 Look! The powerful Lord God
is coming
to rule
    with his mighty arm.
He brings with him
what he has taken in war,
    and he rewards his people.
11 The Lord cares for his nation,
just as shepherds care
    for their flocks.
He carries the lambs
    in his arms,
while gently leading
    the mother sheep.

Footnotes:

  1. 40.9 There. . . can: Or “City of Jerusalem, you have good news. Shout it as loud as you can.”
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Romans 8:22-25

22 We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.

23 The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children.[a] This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24 And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25 However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.

Footnotes:

  1. 8.23 to show that we are his children: These words are not in some manuscripts. The translation of the remainder of the verse would then read, “while we wait for God to set our bodies free.”
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