December 18

Isaiah 53

1Who would have had faith in the word which has come to our ears, and to whom had the arm of the Lord been unveiled?

2For his growth was like that of a delicate plant before him, and like a root out of a dry place: he had no grace of form, to give us pleasure;

3Men made sport of him, turning away from him; he was a man of sorrows, marked by disease; and like one from whom men’s faces are turned away, he was looked down on, and we put no value on him.

4But it was our pain he took, and our diseases were put on him: while to us he seemed as one diseased, on whom God’s punishment had come.

5But it was for our sins he was wounded, and for our evil doings he was crushed: he took the punishment by which we have peace, and by his wounds we are made well.

6We all went wandering like sheep; going every one of us after his desire; and the Lord put on him the punishment of us all.

7Men were cruel to him, but he was gentle and quiet; as a lamb taken to its death, and as a sheep before those who take her wool makes no sound, so he said not a word.

8They took away from him help and right, and who gave a thought to his fate? for he was cut off from the land of the living: he came to his death for the sin of my people.

9And they put his body into the earth with sinners, and his last resting-place was with the evil-doers, though he had done no wrong, and no deceit was in his mouth.

10And the Lord was pleased … see a seed, long life, … will do well in his hand. …

11… made clear his righteousness before men … had taken their sins on himself.

12For this cause he will have a heritage with the great, and he will have a part in the goods of war with the strong, because he gave up his life, and was numbered with the evil-doers; taking on himself the sins of the people, and making prayer for the wrongdoers.

Ezekiel 25

1And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

2Son of man, let your face be turned to the children of Ammon, and be a prophet against them:

3And say to the children of Ammon, Give ear to the word of the Lord; this is what the Lord has said: Because you said, Aha! against my holy place when it was made unclean, and against the land of Israel when it was made waste, and against the people of Judah when they were taken away as prisoners;

4For this cause I will give you up to the children of the east for their heritage, and they will put their tent-circles in you and make their houses in you; they will take your fruit for their food and your milk for their drink.

5And I will make Rabbah a place for housing camels, and the children of Ammon a resting-place for flocks: and you will be certain that I am the Lord.

6For the Lord has said, Because you have made sounds of joy with your hands, stamping your feet, and have been glad, putting shame with all your soul on the land of Israel;

7For this cause my hand has been stretched out against you, and I will give up your goods to be taken by the nations; I will have you cut off from the peoples and will put an end to you among the countries: I will give you up to destruction; and you will be certain that I am the Lord.

8This is what the Lord has said: Because Moab and Seir are saying, See, the people of Judah are like all the nations;

9For this cause, I will let the side of Moab be uncovered, and his towns on every side, the glory of the land, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon and as far as Kiriathaim.

10To the children of the east I have given her for a heritage, as well as the children of Ammon, so that there may be no memory of her among the nations:

11And I will be the judge of Moab; and they will see that I am the Lord.

12This is what the Lord has said: Because Edom has taken his payment from the people of Judah, and has done great wrong in taking payment from them;

13The Lord has said, My hand will be stretched out against Edom, cutting off from it man and beast: and I will make it waste, from Teman even as far as Dedan they will be put to the sword.

14I will take payment from Edom because of my people Israel; and I will take Edom in hand in my wrath and in my passion: and they will have experience of my reward, says the Lord.

15This is what the Lord has said: Because the Philistines have taken payment, with the purpose of causing shame and destruction with unending hate;

16The Lord has said, See, my hand will be stretched out against the Philistines, cutting off the Cherethites and sending destruction on the rest of the sea-land.

17And I will take great payment from them with acts of wrath; and they will be certain that I am the Lord when I send my punishment on them.

Ezekiel 26

1Now in the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

2Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, Aha, she who was the doorway of the peoples is broken; she is turned over to them; she who was full is made waste;

3For this cause the Lord has said, See, I am against you, O Tyre, and will send up a number of nations against you as the sea sends up its waves.

4And they will give the walls of Tyre to destruction and have its towers broken: and I will take even her dust away from her, and make her an uncovered rock

5She will be a place for the stretching out of nets in the middle of the sea; for I have said it, says the Lord: and her goods will be given over to the nations.

6And her daughters in the open country will be put to the sword: and they will be certain that I am the Lord.

7For this is what the Lord has said: See, I will send up from the north Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, king of kings, against Tyre, with horses and war-carriages and with an army and great numbers of people.

8He will put to the sword your daughters in the open country: he will make strong walls against you and put up an earthwork against you, arming himself for war against you.

9He will put up his engines of war against your walls, and your towers will be broken down by his axes.

10Because of the number of his horses you will be covered with their dust: your walls will be shaking at the noise of the horsemen and of the wheels and of the war-carriages, when he comes through your doorways, as into a town which has been broken open.

11Your streets will be stamped down by the feet of his horses: he will put your people to the sword, and will send down the pillars of your strength to the earth.

12They will take by force all your wealth and go off with the goods with which you do trade: they will have your walls broken down and all the houses of your desire given up to destruction: they will put your stones and your wood and your dust deep in the water.

13I will put an end to the noise of your songs, and the sound of your instruments of music will be gone for ever.

14I will make you an uncovered rock: you will be a place for the stretching out of nets; there will be no building you up again: for I the Lord have said it, says the Lord.

15This is what the Lord has said to Tyre: Will not the sea-lands be shaking at the sound of your fall, when the wounded give cries of pain, when men are put to the sword in you?

16Then all the rulers of the sea will come down from their high seats, and put away their robes and take off their clothing of needlework: they will put on the clothing of grief, they will take their seats on the earth, shaking with fear every minute and overcome with wonder at you.

17And they will send up a song of grief for you, and say to you, What destruction has come on you, how are you cut off from the sea, the noted town, which was strong in the sea, she and her people, causing the fear of them to come on all the dry land!

18Now the sea-lands will be shaking in the day of your fall; and all the ships on the sea will be overcome with fear at your going.

19For this is what the Lord has said: I will make you a waste town, like the towns which are unpeopled; when I make the deep come upon you, covering you with great waters.

20Then I will make you go down with those who go down into the underworld, to the people of the past, causing your living-place to be in the deepest parts of the earth, in places long unpeopled, with those who go down into the deep, so that there will be no one living in you; and you will have no glory in the land of the living.

21I will make you a thing of fear, and you will come to an end: even if you are looked for, you will not be seen again for ever, says the Lord.

Colossians 1:1-23

1Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the purpose of God, and Timothy our brother,

2To the saints and true brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

3We give praise to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, making prayer for you at all times,

4After hearing of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which you have for all the saints,

5Through the hope which is in store for you in heaven; knowledge of which was given to you before in the true word of the good news,

6Which has come to you; and which in all the world is giving fruit and increase, as it has done in you from the day when it came to your ears and you had true knowledge of the grace of God;

7As it was given to you by Epaphras, our well-loved helper, who is a true servant of Christ for us,

8And who, himself, made clear to us your love in the Spirit.

9For this reason, we, from the day when we had word of it, keep on in prayer for you, that you may be full of the knowledge of his purpose, with all wisdom and experience of the Spirit,

10Living uprightly in the approval of the Lord, giving fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11Full of strength in the measure of the great power of his glory, so that you may undergo all troubles with joy;

12Giving praise to the Father who has given us a part in the heritage of the saints in light;

13Who has made us free from the power of evil and given us a place in the kingdom of the Son of his love;

14In whom we have our salvation, the forgiveness of sins:

15Who is the image of the unseen God coming into existence before all living things;

16For by him all things were made, in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, authorities, lords, rulers, and powers; all things were made by him and for him;

17He is before all things, and in him all things have being.

18And he is the head of the body, the church: the starting point of all things, the first to come again from the dead; so that in all things he might have the chief place.

19For God in full measure was pleased to be in him;

20Through him uniting all things with himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, uniting all things which are on earth or in heaven.

21And you, who in the past were cut off and at war with God in your minds through evil works, he has now made one

22In the body of his flesh through death, so that you might be holy and without sin and free from all evil before him:

23If you keep yourselves safely based in the faith, not moved from the hope of the good news which came to you, and which was given to every living being under heaven; of which I, Paul, was made a servant.

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