December 17

Isaiah 52

1Awake! awake! put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful robes, O Jerusalem, the holy town: for from now there will never again come into you the unclean and those without circumcision.

2Make yourself clean from the dust; up! and take the seat of your power, O Jerusalem: the bands of your neck are loose, O prisoned daughter of Zion.

3For the Lord says, You were given for nothing, and you will be made free without price.

4For the Lord God says, My people went down at first into Egypt, to get a place for themselves there: and the Assyrian put a cruel yoke on them without cause.

5Now then, what have I here? says the Lord, for my people are taken away without cause; they are made waste and give cries of sorrow, says the Lord, and all the day the nations put shame on my name.

6For this cause I will make my name clear to my people; in that day they will be certain that it is my word which comes to them; see, here am I.

7How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who comes with good news, who gives word of peace, saying that salvation is near; who says to Zion, Your God is ruling!

8The voice of your watchmen! their voices are loud in song together; for they will see him, eye to eye, when the Lord comes back to Zion.

9Give sounds of joy, make melody together, waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord has given comfort to his people, he has taken up the cause of Jerusalem.

10The Lord has let his holy arm be seen by the eyes of all nations; and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

11Away! away! go out from there, touching no unclean thing; go out from among her; be clean, you who take up the vessels of the Lord.

12For you will not go out suddenly, and you will not go in flight: for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will come after you to keep you.

13See, my servant will do well in his undertakings, he will be honoured, and lifted up, and be very high.

14As peoples were surprised at him, And his face was not beautiful, so as to be desired: his face was so changed by disease as to be unlike that of a man, and his form was no longer that of the sons of men.

15So will nations give him honour; kings will keep quiet because of him: for what had not been made clear to them they will see; and they will give their minds to what had not come to their ears.

Ezekiel 24

1And the word of the Lord came to me in the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, saying,

2Son of man, put down in writing this very day: The king of Babylon let loose the weight of his attack against Jerusalem on this very day.

3And make a comparison for this uncontrolled people, and say to them, This is what the Lord has said: Put on the cooking-pot, put it on the fire and put water in it:

4And get the bits together, the fat tail, every good part, the leg and the top part of it: make it full of the best bones.

5Take the best of the flock, put much wood under it: see that its bits are boiling well; let the bones be cooked inside it.

6For this is what the Lord has said: A curse is on the town of blood, the cooking-pot which is unclean inside, which has never been made clean! take out its bits; its fate is still to come on it.

7For her blood is in her; she has put it on the open rock not draining it on to the earth so that it might be covered with dust;

8In order that it might make wrath come up to give punishment, she has put her blood on the open rock, so that it may not be covered.

9For this cause the Lord has said: A curse is on the town of blood! and I will make great the burning mass.

10Put on much wood, heating up the fire, boiling the flesh well, and making the soup thick, and let the bones be burned.

11And I will put her on the coals so that she may be heated and her brass burned, so that what is unclean in her may become soft and her waste be completely taken away.

12I have made myself tired to no purpose: still all the waste which is in her has not come out, it has an evil smell.

13As for your unclean purpose: because I have been attempting to make you clean, but you have not been made clean from it, you will not be made clean till I have let loose my passion on you in full measure.

14I the Lord have said the word and I will do it; I will not go back or have mercy, and my purpose will not be changed; in the measure of your ways and of your evil doings you will be judged, says the Lord.

15And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

16Son of man, see, I am taking away the desire of your eyes by disease: but let there be no sorrow or weeping or drops running from your eyes.

17Let there be no sound of sorrow; make no weeping for your dead, put on your head-dress and your shoes on your feet, let not your lips be covered, and do not take the food of those in grief.

18So in the morning I was teaching the people and in the evening death took my wife; and in the morning I did what I had been ordered to do.

19And the people said to me, Will you not make clear to us the sense of these things; is it for us you do them?

20Then I said to them, The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

21Say to the people of Israel, The Lord has said, See, I will make my holy place unclean, the pride of your strength, the pleasure of your eyes, and the desire of your soul; and your sons and daughters, who did not come with you here, will be put to the sword.

22And you will do as I have done, not covering your lips or taking the food of those in grief.

23And your head-dresses will be on your heads and your shoes on your feet: there will be no sorrow or weeping; but you will be wasting away in the punishment of your evil-doing, and you will be looking at one another in wonder.

24And Ezekiel will be a sign to you; everything he has done you will do: when this takes place, you will be certain that I am the Lord.

25And as for you, son of man, your mouth will be shut in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that on which their hearts are fixed, and their sons and daughters.

26In that day, one who has got away safe will come to you to give you news of it.

27In that day your mouth will be open to him who has got away safe, and you will say words to him and your lips will no longer be shut: so you will be a sign to them and they will be certain that I am the Lord.

Philippians 4

1So my brothers, well loved and very dear to me, my joy and crown, be strong in the Lord, my loved ones.

2I make request to Euodias and Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.

3And I make request to you, true helper in my work, to see to the needs of those women who took part with me in the good news, with Clement and the rest of my brother-workers whose names are in the book of life.

4Be glad in the Lord at all times: again I say, Be glad.

5Let your gentle behaviour be clear to all men. The Lord is near.

6Have no cares; but in everything with prayer and praise put your requests before God.

7And the peace of God, which is deeper than all knowledge, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

8For the rest, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things have honour, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things.

9The things which came to you by my teaching and preaching, and which you saw in me, these things do, and the God of peace will be with you.

10But I am very glad in the Lord that your care for me has come to life again; though you did in fact take thought for me, but you were not able to give effect to it.

11But I will not say anything about my needs, for I am able, wherever I am, to be dependent on myself.

12It is the same to me if I am looked down on or honoured; everywhere and in all things I have the secret of how to be full and how to go without food; how to have wealth and how to be in need.

13I am able to do all things through him who gives me strength.

14But you did well to have care for me in my need.

15And you have knowledge, Philippians, that when the good news first came to you, when I went away from Macedonia, no church took part with me in the business of giving to the saints, but you only;

16Because even in Thessalonica you sent once and again to me in my need.

17Not that I am looking for an offering, but for fruit which may be put to your credit.

18I have all things and more than enough: I am made full, having had from Epaphroditus the things which came from you, a perfume of a sweet smell, an offering well pleasing to God.

19And my God will give you all you have need of from the wealth of his glory in Christ Jesus.

20Now to God our Father be glory for ever and ever. So be it.

21Give words of love to every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their love.

22All the saints send their love to you, specially those who are of Caesar’s house.

23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

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