35The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus 2it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.
3 Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.
He will come with vengeance,
with terrible recompense.
He will come and save you.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
6 then the lame shall leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy.
For waters shall break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
7 the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp,*
the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
8 A highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Holy Way;
the unclean shall not travel on it,*
but it shall be for Gods people;*
no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray.
9 No lion shall be there,
nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
they shall not be found there,
but the redeemed shall walk there.
10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
17 One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal.* 18Just then some men came, carrying a paralysed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus;* 19but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd* in front of Jesus. 20When he saw their faith, he said, Friend,* your sins are forgiven you. 21Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone? 22When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 23Which is easier, to say, Your sins are forgiven you, or to say, Stand up and walk? 24But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sinshe said to the one who was paralysedI say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home. 25Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. 26Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, We have seen strange things today.
8 I will listen to what the Lord God will say,
for he shall speak peace to his people and to the faithful,
that they turn not again to folly.
9 Truly, his salvation is near to those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together,
righteousness and peace have kissed each other;
11 Truth shall spring up from the earth
and righteousness look down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give all that is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him
and direct his steps in the way.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by 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.
The Common Worship psalter is © The Archbishops Council of the Church of England, 2000.
Common Worship texts are available at http://www.cofe.anglican.org/worship/liturgy/commonworship/
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10 February 2011