Isaiah 58–59; Luke 1:26–38

True and False Fasting

58  Cry aloud; do not hold back;

clift up your voice like a trumpet;

ddeclare to my people their transgression,

to the house of Jacob their sins.

eYet they seek me daily

and delight to know my ways,

as if they were a nation that did righteousness

and did not forsake the judgment of their God;

they ask of me righteous judgments;

they delight to draw near to God.

fWhy have we fasted, and you see it not?

Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?

Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure,1

gand oppress all your workers.

Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight

and to hit with a wicked fist.

Fasting like yours this day

will not make your voice to be heard on high.

hIs such the fast that I choose,

ia day for a person to humble himself?

Is it to bow down his head like a reed,

and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him?

Will you call this a fast,

and a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I choose:

jto loose the bonds of wickedness,

to undo the straps kof the yoke,

to let the oppressed2 go free,

and to break every yoke?

Is it not lto share your bread with the hungry

and bring the homeless poor into your house;

when you see the naked, to cover him,

mand not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

nThen shall your light break forth like the dawn,

oand your healing shall spring up speedily;

pyour righteousness shall go before you;

qthe glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

you shall cry, and he will say, Here I am.

If you take away rthe yoke from your midst,

sthe pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

10  tif you pour yourself out for the hungry

and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

nthen shall your light rise in the darkness

and your gloom be as the noonday.

11  And the Lord will guide you continually

and satisfy your desire in scorched places

and make your bones strong;

and you shall be ulike a watered garden,

like a spring of water,

whose waters do not fail.

12  vAnd your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;

you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;

you shall be called the repairer of the breach,

the restorer of streets to dwell in.

13  wIf you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,

from doing your pleasure3 on my holy day,

and call the Sabbath a delight

and the holy day of the Lord honorable;

if you honor it, not going your own ways,

or seeking xyour own pleasure,4 or talking idly;5

14  then you shall take delight in the Lord,

yand I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;6

zI will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,

afor the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Evil and Oppression

59  Behold, bthe Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,

or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;

cbut your iniquities have made a separation

between you and your God,

and your sins have hidden his face from you

so that he does not hear.

dFor your hands are defiled with blood

and your fingers with iniquity;

your lips have spoken lies;

your tongue mutters wickedness.

eNo one enters suit justly;

no one goes to law honestly;

they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,

fthey conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.

They hatch adders' eggs;

they weave the spider's web;

he who eats their eggs dies,

and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.

gTheir webs will not serve as clothing;

men will not cover themselves with what they make.

Their works are works of iniquity,

and deeds of violence are in their hands.

hTheir feet run to evil,

and they are swift to shed innocent blood;

their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;

desolation and destruction are in their highways.

The way of peace they do not know,

and there is no justice in their paths;

they have made their roads crooked;

ino one who treads on them knows peace.

Therefore justice is far from us,

and righteousness does not overtake us;

jwe hope for light, and behold, darkness,

and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.

10  kWe grope for the wall like the blind;

we grope like those who have no eyes;

we stumble at noon as in the twilight,

lamong those in full vigor we are like dead men.

11  We all growl like bears;

mwe moan and moan like doves;

nwe hope for justice, but there is none;

for salvation, but it is far from us.

12  For our transgressions are multiplied before you,

and our sins testify against us;

for our transgressions are with us,

and we know our iniquities:

13  transgressing, and denying the Lord,

and turning back from following our God,

ospeaking oppression and revolt,

conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

Judgment and Redemption

14  pJustice is turned back,

and righteousness stands far away;

for truth has stumbled in the public squares,

and uprightness cannot enter.

15  Truth is lacking,

and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him7

that there was no justice.

16  qHe saw that there was no man,

and wondered that there was no one to intercede;

then his own arm brought him salvation,

and his righteousness upheld him.

17  rHe put on righteousness as a breastplate,

and a helmet of salvation on his head;

he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,

and wrapped himself in szeal as a cloak.

18  tAccording to their deeds, so will he repay,

wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;

uto the coastlands he will render repayment.

19  vSo they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west,

and his glory from the rising of the sun;

wfor he will come like a rushing stream,8

which the wind of the Lord drives.

20  xAnd ya Redeemer will come to Zion,

to those in Jacob who turn from transgression, declares the Lord.

21 And as for me, zthis is my covenant with them, says the Lord: My Spirit that is upon you, aand my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring, says the Lord, from this time forth and forevermore.


Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month the angel xGabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named yNazareth, 27 zto a virgin betrothed1 to a man whose name was Joseph, aof the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, Greetings, bO favored one, cthe Lord is with you!2 29 But dshe was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for eyou have found favor with God. 31 And behold, fyou will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and gyou shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of hthe Most High. And the Lord God iwill give to him the throne of jhis father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob kforever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.

34 And Mary said to the angel, How will this be, since I am a virgin?3

35 And the angel answered her, lThe Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of hthe Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born4 will be called mholynthe Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her owho was called barren. 37 For pnothing will be impossible with God. 38 And Mary said, Behold, I am the servant5 of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word. And qthe angel departed from her.