Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. St. Luke 3.4, 6
In thee, O Lord, do I seek refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in thy righteousness deliver me!
Incline thy ear to me,
rescue me speedily!
Be thou a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
Yea, thou art my rock and my fortress;
for thy name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net which is hidden for me,
for thou art my refuge.
Into thy hand I commit my spirit;
thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
Thou hatest those who pay regard to vain idols;
but I trust in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad for thy steadfast love,
because thou hast seen my affliction,
thou hast taken heed of my adversities,
and hast not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
thou hast set my feet in a broad place.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eye is wasted from grief,
my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my misery,
and my bones waste away.
I am the scorn of all my adversaries,
a horror to my neighbors,
an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
Yea, I hear the whispering of many—
terror on every side!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
But I trust in thee, O Lord,
I say, “Thou art my God.”
My times are in thy hand;
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors!
Let thy face shine on thy servant;
save me in thy steadfast love!
Let me not be put to shame, O Lord,
for I call on thee;
let the wicked be put to shame,
let them go dumbfounded to Sheol.
Let the lying lips be dumb,
which speak insolently against the righteous
in pride and contempt.
O how abundant is thy goodness,
which thou hast laid up for those who fear thee,
and wrought for those who take refuge in thee,
in the sight of the sons of men!
In the covert of thy presence thou hidest them
from the plots of men;
thou holdest them safe under thy shelter
from the strife of tongues.
Blessed be the Lord,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was beset as in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am driven far from thy sight.”
But thou didst hear my supplications,
when I cried to thee for help.
Love the Lord, all you his saints!
The Lord preserves the faithful,
but abundantly requites him who acts haughtily.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman′u-el. He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted. The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that E′phraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria.”
In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly which is at the sources of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee which is in the land of Assyria. And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures.
In that day the Lord will shave with a razor which is hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.
In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep; and because of the abundance of milk which they give, he will eat curds; for every one that is left in the land will eat curds and honey.
In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels of silver, will become briers and thorns. With bow and arrows men will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns; and as for all the hills which used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns; but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.
2 Thessalonians 2.13-3.5
But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things which we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who
trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Merciful God, who sent thy messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.