December 19

Isaiah 54

1Let your voice be loud in song, O woman without children; make melody and sounds of joy, you who did not give birth: for the children of her who had no husband are more than those of the married wife, says the Lord.

2Make wide the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your house be stretched out without limit: make your cords long, and your tent-pins strong.

3For I will make wide your limits on the right hand and on the left; and your seed will take the nations for a heritage, and make the waste towns full of people.

4Have no fear; for you will not be shamed or without hope: you will not be put to shame, for the shame of your earlier days will go out of your memory, and you will no longer keep in mind the sorrows of your widowed years.

5For your Maker is your husband; the Lord of armies is his name: and the Holy One of Israel is he who takes up your cause; he will be named the God of all the earth.

6For the Lord has made you come back to him, like a wife who has been sent away in grief of spirit; for one may not give up the wife of one’s early days.

7For a short time I gave you up; but with great mercies I will take you back again.

8In overflowing wrath my face was veiled from you for a minute, but I will have pity on you for ever, says the Lord who takes up your cause.

9For this is like the days of Noah to me: for as I took an oath that the waters of Noah would never again go over the earth, so have I taken an oath that I will not again be angry with you, or say bitter words to you.

10For the mountains may be taken away, and the hills be moved out of their places, but my love will not be taken from you, or my agreement of peace broken, says the Lord, who has had mercy on you.

11O troubled one, storm-crushed, uncomforted! see, your stones will be framed in fair colours, and your bases will be sapphires.

12I will make your towers of rubies, and your doors of carbuncles, and the wall round you will be of all sorts of beautiful stones.

13And all your builders will be made wise by the Lord; and great will be the peace of your children.

14All your rights will be made certain to you: have no fear of evil, and destruction will not come near you.

15See, they may be moved to war, but not by my authority: all those who come together to make an attack on you, will be broken against you.

16See, I have made the iron-worker, blowing on the burning coals, and making the instrument of war by his work; and I have made the waster for destruction.

17No instrument of war which is formed against you will be of any use; and every tongue which says evil against you will be judged false. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness comes from me, says the Lord.

Ezekiel 27

1The word of the Lord came to me again, saying,

2And you, son of man, make a song of grief for Tyre;

3And say to Tyre, O you who are seated at the doorway of the sea, trading for the peoples with the great sea-lands, these are the words of the Lord: You, O Tyre, have said, I am a ship completely beautiful.

4Your builders have made your outlines in the heart of the seas, they have made you completely beautiful.

5They have made all your boards of fir-trees from Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make the supports for your sails.

6Of oak-trees from Bashan they have made your driving blades; they have made your floors of ivory and boxwood from the sea-lands of Kittim.

7The best linen with needlework from Egypt was your sail, stretched out to be a flag for you; blue and purple from the sea-lands of Elishah gave you shade.

8The people of Zidon and Arvad were your boatmen; the wise men of Zemer were in you; they were guiding your ships;

9The responsible men of Gebal and its wise men were in you, making your boards watertight: all the ships of the sea with their seamen were in you trading in your goods.

10Cush and Lud and Put were in your army, your men of war, hanging up their body-covers and head-dresses of war in you: they gave you your glory.

11The men of Arvad in your army were on your walls, and were watchmen in your towers, hanging up their arms on your walls round about; they made you completely beautiful.

12Tarshish did business with you because of the great amount of your wealth; they gave silver, iron, tin, and lead for your goods.

13Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your traders; they gave living men and brass vessels for your goods.

14The people of Togarmah gave horses and war-horses and transport beasts for your goods.

15The men of Rodan were your traders: a great number of sea-lands did business with you: they gave you horns of ivory and ebony as an offering.

16Edom did business with you because of the great number of things which you made; they gave emeralds, purple, and needlework, and the best linen and coral and rubies for your goods.

17Judah and the land of Israel were your traders; they gave grain of Minnith and sweet cakes and honey and oil and perfume for your goods.

18Damascus did business with you because of the great amount of your wealth, with wine of Helbon and white wool.

19… for your goods: they gave polished iron and spices for your goods.

20Dedan did trade with you in cloths for the backs of horses.

21Arabia and all the rulers of Kedar did business with you; in lambs and sheep and goats, in these they did business with you.

22The traders of Sheba and Raamah did trade with you; they gave the best of all sorts of spices and all sorts of stones of great price and gold for your goods.

23Haran and Canneh and Eden, the traders of Asshur and all the Medes:

24These were your traders in beautiful robes, in rolls of blue and needlework, and in chests of coloured cloth, corded with cords and made of cedar-wood, in them they did trade with you.

25Tarshish ships did business for you in your goods: and you were made full, and great was your glory in the heart of the seas.

26Your boatmen have taken you into great waters: you have been broken by the east wind in the heart of the seas.

27Your wealth and your goods, the things in which you do trade, your seamen and those guiding your ships, those who make your boards watertight, and those who do business with your goods, and all your men of war who are in you, with all who have come together in you, will go down into the heart of the seas in the day of your downfall.

28At the sound of the cry of your ships’ guides, the boards of the ship will be shaking.

29And all the boatmen, the seamen and those who are expert at guiding a ship through the sea, will come down from their ships and take their places on the land;

30And their voices will be sounding over you, and crying bitterly they will put dust on their heads, rolling themselves in the dust:

31And they will have the hair of their heads cut off because of you, and will put haircloth on their bodies, weeping for you with bitter grief in their souls, even with bitter sorrow.

32And in their weeping they will make a song of grief for you, sorrowing over you and saying, Who is like Tyre, who has come to an end in the deep sea?

33When your goods went out over the seas, you made numbers of peoples full; the wealth of the kings of the earth was increased with your great wealth and all your goods.

34Now that you are broken by the seas in the deep waters, your goods and all your people will go down with you.

35All the people of the sea-lands are overcome with wonder at you, and their kings are full of fear, their faces are troubled.

36Those who do business among the peoples make sounds of surprise at you; you have become a thing of fear, you have come to an end for ever.

Ezekiel 28

1The word of the Lord came to me again, saying,

2Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, This is what the Lord has said: Because your heart has been lifted up, and you have said, I am a god, I am seated on the seat of God in the heart of the seas; but you are man and not God, though you have made your heart as the heart of God:

3See, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret which is deeper than your knowledge:

4By your wisdom and deep knowledge you have got power for yourself, and put silver and gold in your store-houses:

5By your great wisdom and by your trade your power is increased, and your heart is lifted up because of your power:

6For this cause the Lord has said: Because you have made your heart as the heart of God,

7See, I am sending against you strange men, feared among the nations: they will let loose their swords against your bright wisdom, they will make your glory a common thing.

8They will send you down to the underworld, and your death will be the death of those who are put to the sword in the heart of the seas.

9Will you say, in the face of those who are taking your life, I am God? but you are man and not God in the hands of those who are wounding you.

10Your death will be the death of those who are without circumcision, by the hands of men from strange lands: for I have said it, says the Lord.

11Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

12Son of man, make a song of grief for the king of Tyre, and say to him, This is what the Lord has said: You are all-wise and completely beautiful;

13You were in Eden, the garden of God; every stone of great price was your clothing, the sardius, the topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the emerald and the carbuncle: your store-houses were full of gold, and things of great price were in you; in the day when you were made they were got ready.

14I gave you your place with the winged one; I put you on the mountain of God; you went up and down among the stones of fire.

15There has been no evil in your ways from the day when you were made, till sin was seen in you.

16Through all your trading you have become full of violent ways, and have done evil: so I sent you out shamed from the mountain of God; the winged one put an end to you from among the stones of fire.

17Your heart was lifted up because you were beautiful, you made your wisdom evil through your sin: I have sent you down, even to the earth; I have made you low before kings, so that they may see you.

18By all your sin, even by your evil trading, you have made your holy places unclean; so I will make a fire come out from you, it will make a meal of you, and I will make you as dust on the earth before the eyes of all who see you.

19All who have knowledge of you among the peoples will be overcome with wonder at you: you have become a thing of fear, and you will never be seen again.

20And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

21Son of man, let your face be turned to Zidon, and be a prophet against it, and say,

22These are the words of the Lord: See, I am against you, O Zidon; and I will get glory for myself in you: and they will be certain that I am the Lord, when I send my punishments on her, and I will be seen to be holy in her.

23And I will send on her disease and blood in her streets; and the wounded will be falling in the middle of her, and the sword will be against her on every side; and they will be certain that I am the Lord.

24And there will no longer be a plant with sharp points wounding the children of Israel, or a thorn troubling them among any who are round about them, who put shame on them; and they will be certain that I am the Lord.

25This is what the Lord has said: When I have got together the children of Israel from the peoples among whom they are wandering, and have been made holy among them before the eyes of the nations, then they will have rest in the land which is theirs, which I gave to my servant Jacob

26And they will be safe there, building houses and planting vine-gardens and living without fear; when I have sent my punishments on all those who put shame on them round about them; and they will be certain that I am the Lord their God.

Colossians 1:24-29

24Now I have joy in my pain because of you, and in my flesh I undergo whatever is still needed to make the sorrows of Christ complete, for the salvation of his body, the church;

25Of which I became a servant by the purpose of God which was given to me for you, to give effect to the word of God,

26The secret which has been kept from all times and generations, but has now been made clear to his saints,

27To whom God was pleased to give knowledge of the wealth of the glory of this secret among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28Whom we are preaching; guiding and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that every man may be complete in Christ;

29And for this purpose I am working, using all my strength by the help of his power which is working in me strongly.

Colossians 2:1-19

1For it is my desire to give you news of the great fight I am making for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not seen my face in the flesh;

2So that their hearts may be comforted, and that being joined together in love, they may come to the full wealth of the certain knowledge of the secret of God, even Christ,

3In whom are all the secret stores of wisdom and knowledge.

4I say this so that you may not be turned away by any deceit of words.

5For though I am not present in the flesh, still I am with you in the spirit, seeing with joy your order, and your unchanging faith in Christ.

6As, then, you took Christ Jesus the Lord, so go on in him,

7Rooted and based together in him, strong in the faith which the teaching gave you, giving praise to God at all times.

8Take care that no one takes you away by force, through man’s wisdom and deceit, going after the beliefs of men and the theories of the world, and not after Christ:

9For in him all the wealth of God’s being has a living form,

10And you are complete in him, who is the head of all rule and authority:

11In whom you had a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;

12Having been put to death with him in baptism, by which you came to life again with him, through faith in the working of God, who made him come back from the dead.

13And you, being dead through your sins and the evil condition of your flesh, to you, I say, he gave life together with him, and forgiveness of all our sins;

14Having put an end to the handwriting of the law which was against us, taking it out of the way by nailing it to his cross;

15Having made himself free from the rule of authorities and powers, he put them openly to shame, glorying over them in it.

16For this reason let no man be your judge in any question of food or drink or feast days or new moons or Sabbaths:

17For these are an image of the things which are to come; but the body is Christ’s.

18Let no man take your reward from you by consciously making little of himself and giving worship to angels; having his thoughts fixed on the things which he has seen, being foolishly lifted up in his natural mind,

19And not joined to the Head, from whom all the body, being given strength and kept together through its joins and bands, has its growth with the increase of God.

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