Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord
A Song of mAscents.
126 When the Lord srestored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who tdream.
2 Then our umouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
v“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.
4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negeb!
5 wThose who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
6 He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
61 sThe Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has tanointed me
to bring good news to the poor;1
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
2 vto proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
wand the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
xto give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
ythe oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
zthat they may be called oaks of righteousness,
4 bThey shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
8 gFor I the Lord love justice;
I hate robbery and wrong;1
hI will faithfully give them their recompense,
iand I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their offspring shall be known among the nations,
and their descendants in the midst of the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge them,
that they are an offspring the Lord has blessed.
10 jI will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
kfor he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself llike a priest with a beautiful headdress,
mand as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause nrighteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations.
6 There was a man isent from God, whose name was jJohn. 7 He came as a kwitness, to bear witness about the light, lthat all might believe through him. 8 mHe was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The Testimony of John the Baptist
19 And this is the otestimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, p“Who are you?” 20 qHe confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? rAre you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you sthe Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am tthe voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight1 the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, u“Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, v“I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even whe who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
16 vRejoice always, 17 wpray without ceasing, 18 xgive thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 yDo not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise zprophecies, 21 but atest everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may bthe God of peace himself csanctify you completely, and may your dwhole espirit and soul and body be kept blameless at fthe coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 gHe who calls you is faithful; hhe will surely do it.