December 19th, 2017

Adam and Eve


First Reading: Is. 40:1-17


God’s People Are Comforted

 1 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
      Says your God.
       2 “ Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
      That her warfare is ended,
      That her iniquity is pardoned;
      For she has received from the LORD’s hand
      Double for all her sins.”
       3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
      “ Prepare the way of the LORD;
      Make straight in the desert[a]
      A highway for our God.
       4 Every valley shall be exalted
      And every mountain and hill brought low;
      The crooked places shall be made straight
      And the rough places smooth;
       5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
      And all flesh shall see it together;
      For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
       6 The voice said, “Cry out!”
      And he[b] said, “What shall I cry?”
      “ All flesh is grass,
      And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
       7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
      Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
      Surely the people are grass.
       8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
      But the word of our God stands forever.”
       9 O Zion,
      You who bring good tidings,
      Get up into the high mountain;
      O Jerusalem,
      You who bring good tidings,
      Lift up your voice with strength,
      Lift it up, be not afraid;
      Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
       10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand,
      And His arm shall rule for Him;
      Behold, His reward is with Him,
      And His work before Him.
       11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
      He will gather the lambs with His arm,
      And carry them in His bosom,
      And gently lead those who are with young.
       12 Who has measured the waters[c] in the hollow of His hand,
      Measured heaven with a span
      And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
      Weighed the mountains in scales
      And the hills in a balance?
       13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
      Or as His counselor has taught Him?
       14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
      And taught Him in the path of justice?
      Who taught Him knowledge,
      And showed Him the way of understanding?
       15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
      And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
      Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
       16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
      Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.
       17 All nations before Him are as nothing,
      And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.
      

Footnotes:Isaiah 40:3 Following Masoretic Text, Targum, and Vulgate; Septuagint omits in the desert. Isaiah 40:6 Following Masoretic Text and Targum; Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, and Vulgate read I. Isaiah 40:12 Following Masoretic Text, Septuagint, and Vulgate; Dead Sea Scrolls read waters of the sea; Targum reads waters of the world.


Second Reading: Rev. 7:1-17


The Sealed of Israel

 1 After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
       5 of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;[a]
      of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
       6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
       7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
       8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
      of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

A Multitude from the Great Tribulation

    9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
      “ Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
      Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
      Be to our God forever and ever.
      Amen.” 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Sir,[b] you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16 They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.[c] And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Footnotes:Revelation 7:5 In NU-Text and M-Text were sealed is stated only in verses 5a and 8c; the words are understood in the remainder of the passage. Revelation 7:14 NU-Text and M-Text read My lord. Revelation 7:17 NU-Text and M-Text read to fountains of the waters of life.


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