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  • Isaiah 40:1-11

    Comfort for God’s people

    40 Comfort, comfort my people!
        says your God.
    Speak compassionately to Jerusalem,
            and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended,
        that her penalty has been paid,
        that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins!

    A voice is crying out:
    “Clear the Lord’s way in the desert!
        Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!
    Every valley will be raised up,
        and every mountain and hill will be flattened.
        Uneven ground will become level,
        and rough terrain a valley plain.
    The Lord’s glory will appear,
        and all humanity will see it together;
        the Lord’s mouth has commanded it.”

    A voice was saying:
        “Call out!”
    And another said,
        “What should I call out?”
    All flesh is grass;
        all its loyalty is like the flowers of the field.
    The grass dries up
        and the flower withers
        when the Lord’s breath blows on it.
        Surely the people are grass.
    The grass dries up;
        the flower withers,
        but our God’s word will exist forever.

    Go up on a high mountain,
        messenger Zion!
    Raise your voice and shout,
        messenger Jerusalem!
    Raise it; don’t be afraid;
        say to the cities of Judah,
        “Here is your God!”
    10 Here is the Lord God,
        coming with strength,
        with a triumphant arm,
        bringing his reward with him
        and his payment before him.
    11 Like a shepherd, God will tend the flock;
        he will gather lambs in his arms
        and lift them onto his lap.
        He will gently guide the nursing ewes.