First ReadingIsaiah 35:1-10
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you." Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
"See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone's work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. "It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let everyone who hears say, "Come." And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person's share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. The one who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.
The Holy GospelLuke 1:67-80
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.
Morning PsalmsPsalm 45 Eructavit cor meum
1 My heart is stirring with a noble song; let me recite what I have fashioned for the king; my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.
2 You are the fairest of men; grace flows from your lips, because God has blessed you for ever.
3 Strap your sword upon your thigh, O mighty warrior, in your pride and in your majesty.
4 Ride out and conquer in the cause of truth and for the sake of justice.
5 Your right hand will show you marvelous things; your arrows are very sharp, O mighty warrior.
6 The peoples are falling at your feet, and the king's enemies are losing heart.
7 Your throne, O God, endures for ever and ever, a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom; you love righteousness and hate iniquity.
8 Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
9 All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.
10 Kings' daughters stand among the ladies of the court; on your right hand is the queen, adorned with the gold of Ophir.
11 Hear, O daughter; consider and listen closely; forget your people and your father's house.
12 The king will have pleasure in your beauty; he is your master; therefore do him honor.
13 The people of Tyre are here with a gift; the rich among the people seek your favor."
14 All glorious is the princess as she enters; her gown is cloth-of-gold.
15 In embroidered apparel she is brought to the king; after her the bridesmaids follow in procession.
16 With joy and gladness they are brought, and enter into the palace of the king.
17 In place of fathers, O king, you shall have sons; you shall make them princes over all the earth.
18 I will make your name to be remembered from one generation to another; therefore nations will praise you for ever and ever."
Psalm 46 Deus noster refugium
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved, and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;
3 Though its waters rage and foam, and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.
4 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
5 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
6 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be overthrown; God shall help her at the break of day.
7 The nations make much ado, and the kingdoms are shaken; God has spoken, and the earth shall melt away.
8 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
9 Come now and look upon the works of the LORD, what awesome things he has done on earth.
10 It is he who makes war to cease in all the world; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, and burns the shields with fire.
11 Be still, then, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.
12 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Evening PsalmsPsalm 89: Part I Misericordias Domini
1 Your love, O LORD, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
2 For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens.
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 'I will establish your line for ever, and preserve your throne for all generations.'"
5 The heavens bear witness to your wonders, O LORD, and to your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones;
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? who is like the LORD among the gods?
7 God is much to be feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible to all those round about him.
8 Who is like you, LORD God of hosts? O mighty LORD, your faithfulness is all around you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea and still the surging of its waves.
10 You have crushed Rahab of the deep with a deadly wound; you have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 Yours are the heavens; the earth also is yours; you laid the foundations of the world and all that is in it.
12 You have made the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your Name.
13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand and high is your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne; love and truth go before your face.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout! they walk, O LORD, in the light of your presence.
16 They rejoice daily in your Name; they are jubilant in your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength, and by your favor our might is exalted.
18 Truly, the LORD is our ruler; The Holy One of Israel is our King.
Psalm 89: Part II Tunc locutus es
19 You spoke once in vision and said to your faithful people: "I have set the crown upon a warrior and have exalted one chosen out of the people.
20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.
21 My hand will hold him fast and my arm will make him strong.
22 No enemy shall deceive him, nor any wicked man bring him down.
23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and love shall be with him, and he shall be victorious through my Name.
25 I shall make his dominion extend from the Great Sea to the River.
26 He will say to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.'
27 I will make him my firstborn and higher than the kings of the earth.
28 I will keep my love for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29 I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of heaven."
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The New Revised Standard Version Bible may be quoted and/or reprinted up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without express written permission of the publisher, provided the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible or account for fifty percent (50%) of the total work in which they are quoted.