This is Rev. Bob Spears’ sermon from Sunday, December 6, 2015. The scripture Isaiah 40:1-5, Haggai 2:6-7, Malachi 3:1-3, Isaiah 7:14, 40:9, 60:1-3, 9:2, 9:6. In our service we read from the New Revised Standard Version and from The Message, a modern interpretation by Eugene Peterson. We read both with the hope that our understanding will be enriched.
This is from The New Revised Standard Version:
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. The voice of him that cries in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Thus says the Lord of Hosts; Yet once, a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come. The Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: Behold, He shall come, says the Lord of Hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire. And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, God with us. O you that tell good tidings to Zion, get up into the high mountain; O you that tell good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, and be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!
Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you. And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Both the New Revised Standard Version and The Message can be found here.