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.
18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples 19and sent them to the Lord to ask, Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another? 20When the men had come to him, they said, John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another? 21Jesus* had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22And he answered them, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers* are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. 23And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.
24 When Johns messengers had gone, Jesus* began to speak to the crowds about John:* What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?
25What then did you go out to see? Someone* dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces.
26What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
27This is the one about whom it is written,
See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.
28I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. 29(And all the people who heard this, including the tax-collectors, acknowledged the justice of God,* because they had been baptized with Johns baptism. 30But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected Gods purpose for themselves.)
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
then were we like those who dream.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter
and our tongue with songs of joy.
3 Then said they among the nations,
The Lord has done great things for them.
4 The Lord has indeed done great things for us,
and therefore we rejoiced.
5 Restore again our fortunes, O Lord,
as the river beds of the desert.
6 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with songs of joy.
7 Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed,
will come back with shouts of joy,
bearing their sheaves with them.
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