First Reading: Is. 40:1-17
Comfort for God's People 1
Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God. 2
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD's hand
double for all her sins. 3
A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD [a]
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God. [b] 4
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain. 5
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." 6
A voice says, "Cry out."
And I said, "What shall I cry?"
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. 7
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the LORD blows on them.
Surely the people are grass. 8
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever." 9
You who bring good tidings to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, [c]
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
"Here is your God!" 10
See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and his arm rules for him.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him. 11
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young. 12
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance? 13
Who has understood the mind [d]
of the LORD,
or instructed him as his counselor? 14
Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge
or showed him the path of understanding? 15
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales;
he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. 16
Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires,
nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. 17
Before him all the nations are as nothing;
they are regarded by him as worthless
and less than nothing.Footnotes:
Isaiah 40:3 Or A voice of one calling in the desert: / "Prepare the way for the
Isaiah 40:3 Hebrew; Septuagint make straight the paths of our God
Isaiah 40:9 Or O Zion, bringer of good tidings, / go up on a high mountain. / O Jerusalem, bringer of good tidings
Isaiah 40:13 Or Spirit
; or spirit
Second Reading: Rev. 7:1-17
144,000 Sealed 1
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. 2
Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: 3
"Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." 4
Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. 5
From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,
from the tribe of Gad 12,000, 6
from the tribe of Asher 12,000,
from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,
from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, 7
from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,
from the tribe of Levi 12,000,
from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, 8
from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,
from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,
from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.
The Great Multitude in White Robes 9
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10
And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb." 11
All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?" 14
I answered, "Sir, you know."
And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15
"they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16
Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat. 17
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."