Luke 1:68–79; Malachi 3:1–4; Luke 3:1–6; Philippians 1:3–11

68  gBlessed be the Lord hGod of Israel,

for he has ivisited and jredeemed his people

69  and khas raised up la horn of salvation for us

min the house of his servant David,

70  nas ohe spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

71  pthat we should be saved from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us;

72  qto show the mercy promised to our fathers

and rto remember his holy scovenant,

73  tthe oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us

74  that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

might serve him uwithout fear,

75  vin holiness and righteousness before him wall our days.

76  And you, child, will be called xthe prophet of ythe Most High;

for zyou will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

77  to give knowledge of salvation to his people

ain the forgiveness of their sins,

78  because of the btender mercy of our God,

whereby cthe sunrise shall dvisit us1 efrom on high

79  to fgive light to gthose who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into hthe way of ipeace.


gBehold, I send hmy messenger, and ihe will prepare the way before me. And the Lord jwhom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and kthe messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But lwho can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For mhe is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit nas a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring oofferings in righteousness to the Lord.1 pThen the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.


John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In the fifteenth year of the reign of jTiberius Caesar, kPontius Pilate lbeing governor of Judea, and mHerod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during nthe high priesthood of Annas and oCaiaphas, pthe word of God came to qJohn the son of Zechariah in rthe wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming sa baptism of repentance tfor the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in uthe book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

vThe voice of one crying in the wilderness:

wPrepare the way of the Lord,1

make his paths straight.

xEvery valley shall be filled,

yand every mountain and hill shall be made low,

zand the crooked shall become straight,

and the rough places shall become level ways,

aand all flesh shall see bthe salvation of God.


Thanksgiving and Prayer

eI thank my God fin all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, gbecause of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began ha good work in you iwill bring it to completion at jthe day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you kin my heart, for you are all lpartakers with me of grace,1 both min my imprisonment and in nthe defense and confirmation of the gospel. For oGod is my witness, phow I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that qyour love may abound more and more, rwith knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, sand so be pure and blameless tfor the day of Christ, 11 filled uwith the fruit of righteousness that comes vthrough Jesus Christ, wto the glory and praise of God.