Psalm 147:12–20; Jeremiah 31:7–14; John 1:1–18; Ephesians 1:3–14

12  Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!

Praise your God, O Zion!

13  For he strengthens fthe bars of your gates;

he blesses your children within you.

14  He gmakes peace in your borders;

he hfills you with the ifinest of the wheat.

15  He jsends out his command to the earth;

his word runs swiftly.

16  He gives ksnow like wool;

he scatters lfrost like ashes.

17  He hurls down his crystals of mice like crumbs;

who can stand before his ncold?

18  He osends out his word, and melts them;

he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.

19  He declares his word to Jacob,

his pstatutes and rules1 to Israel.

20  He qhas not dealt thus with any other nation;

they do not know his rules.2

rPraise the Lord!


For thus says the Lord:

lSing aloud with gladness for Jacob,

and raise shouts for mthe chief of the nations;

proclaim, give praise, and say,

nO Lord, save your people,

the remnant of Israel.

Behold, I will bring them ofrom the north country

and pgather them from qthe farthest parts of the earth,

among them rthe blind and the lame,

the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;

a great company, they shall return here.

sWith weeping they shall come,

tand with pleas for mercy I will lead them back,

I will make them uwalk by brooks of water,

vin a straight path in which they shall not stumble,

for wI am a father to Israel,

and Ephraim is xmy firstborn.

10  Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,

and declare it in the coastlands far away;

say, He who scattered Israel will pgather him,

and will keep him yas a shepherd keeps his flock.

11  zFor the Lord has ransomed Jacob

and has redeemed him from ahands too strong for him.

12  They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,

band they shall be radiant cover the goodness of the Lord,

dover the grain, the wine, and the oil,

and over the young of the flock and the herd;

etheir life shall be like a watered garden,

fand they shall languish no more.

13  gThen shall the young women rejoice in the dance,

and the young men and the old shall be merry.

hI will turn their mourning into joy;

I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.

14  iI will feast the soul of the priests with abundance,

and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,

declares the Lord.


John Illustration

John

The Word Became Flesh

aIn the beginning was bthe Word, and cthe Word was with God, and dthe Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. eAll things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. fIn him was life,1 and gthe life was the light of men. hThe light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man isent from God, whose name was jJohn. He came as a kwitness, to bear witness about the light, lthat all might believe through him. mHe was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

nThe true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet othe world did not know him. 11 He came to phis own,2 and qhis own people3 rdid not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, swho believed in his name, the gave the right uto become vchildren of God, 13 who wwere born, xnot of blood ynor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And zthe Word abecame flesh and bdwelt among us, cand we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son4 from the Father, full of dgrace and etruth. 15 (fJohn bore witness about him, and cried out, This was he of whom I said, gHe who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.) 16 For from hhis fullness we have all received, igrace upon grace.5 17 For jthe law was given through Moses; kgrace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 lNo one has ever seen God; mthe only God,6 who is at the Father's side,7 nhe has made him known.


Spiritual Blessings in Christ

eBlessed be fthe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing gin the heavenly places, heven as he ichose us in him jbefore the foundation of the world, that we should be kholy and blameless before him. In love lhe predestined us1 for madoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, naccording to the purpose of his will, oto the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in pthe Beloved. qIn him we have rredemption sthrough his blood, tthe forgiveness of our trespasses, uaccording to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight vmaking known2 to us the mystery of his will, naccording to his purpose, which he wset forth in Christ 10 as a plan for xthe fullness of time, yto unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained zan inheritance, ahaving been predestined baccording to the purpose of him who works all things according to cthe counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be dto the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard ethe word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, fwere sealed with the gpromised Holy Spirit, 14 who is hthe guarantee3 of our iinheritance until jwe acquire kpossession of it,4 lto the praise of his glory.