Reading for December 26th

Isaiah 52-54 (Listen)

The Lord's Coming Salvation

Awake, awake,

put on your strength, O Zion;

put on your beautiful garments,

O Jerusalem, the holy city;

for there shall no more come into you

the uncircumcised and the unclean.

Shake yourself from the dust and arise;

be seated, O Jerusalem;

loose the bonds from your neck,

O captive daughter of Zion.

 

For thus says the Lord: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” For thus says the Lord God: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing. Now therefore what have I here,” declares the Lord, “seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail,” declares the Lord, “and continually all the day my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.”

 

How beautiful upon the mountains

are the feet of him who brings good news,

who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,

who publishes salvation,

who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;

together they sing for joy;

for eye to eye they see

the return of the Lord to Zion.

Break forth together into singing,

you waste places of Jerusalem,

for the Lord has comforted his people;

he has redeemed Jerusalem.

The Lord has bared his holy arm

before the eyes of all the nations,

and all the ends of the earth shall see

the salvation of our God.

 

Depart, depart, go out from there;

touch no unclean thing;

go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves,

you who bear the vessels of the Lord.

For you shall not go out in haste,

and you shall not go in flight,

for the Lord will go before you,

and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

 

He Was Pierced for Our Transgressions

Behold, my servant shall act wisely;

he shall be high and lifted up,

and shall be exalted.

As many were astonished at you—

his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,

and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—

so shall he sprinkle many nations;

kings shall shut their mouths because of him;

for that which has not been told them they see,

and that which they have not heard they understand.

Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men;

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 

Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

 

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he opened not his mouth.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away;

and as for his generation, who considered

that he was cut off out of the land of the living,

stricken for the transgression of my people?

And they made his grave with the wicked

and with a rich man in his death,

although he had done no violence,

and there was no deceit in his mouth.

 

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;

he has put him to grief;

when his soul makes an offering for guilt,

he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,

and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,

because he poured out his soul to death

and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many,

and makes intercession for the transgressors.

 

The Eternal Covenant of Peace

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;

break forth into singing and cry aloud,

you who have not been in labor!

For the children of the desolate one will be more

than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,

and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;

do not hold back; lengthen your cords

and strengthen your stakes.

For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,

and your offspring will possess the nations

and will people the desolate cities.

 

“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;

be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;

for you will forget the shame of your youth,

and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

For your Maker is your husband,

the Lord of hosts is his name;

and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,

the God of the whole earth he is called.

For the Lord has called you

like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,

like a wife of youth when she is cast off,

says your God.

For a brief moment I deserted you,

but with great compassion I will gather you.

In overflowing anger for a moment

I hid my face from you,

but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”

says the Lord, your Redeemer.

 

“This is like the days of Noah to me:

as I swore that the waters of Noah

should no more go over the earth,

so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,

and will not rebuke you.

For the mountains may depart

and the hills be removed,

but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,

and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”

says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

 

“O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted,

behold, I will set your stones in antimony,

and lay your foundations with sapphires.

I will make your pinnacles of agate,

your gates of carbuncles,

and all your wall of precious stones.

All your children shall be taught by the Lord,

and great shall be the peace of your children.

In righteousness you shall be established;

you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;

and from terror, for it shall not come near you.

If anyone stirs up strife,

it is not from me;

whoever stirs up strife with you

shall fall because of you.

Behold, I have created the smith

who blows the fire of coals

and produces a weapon for its purpose.

I have also created the ravager to destroy;

no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed,

and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord

and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”