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The Desert (Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8)

Cara HeafeyCara Heafey, Sunday, 10th December 2017

This sermon was prepared by Cara Heafey and read by Malcolm Benson because heavy snow meant that she couldn't cross Oxford to be with us herself!

Isaiah 40:1-11

1"Comfort, comfort my people," says your God. 2"Speak comfortably to Jerusalem; and call out to her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received of Yahweh's hand double for all her sins." 3The voice of one who calls out, "Prepare the way of Yahweh in the wilderness! Make a level highway in the desert for our God. 4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain. 5The glory of Yahweh shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it." 6The voice of one saying, "Cry!" One said, "What shall I cry?" "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like the flower of the field. 7The grass withers, the flower fades, because Yahweh's breath blows on it. Surely the people are like grass. 8The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever." 9You who tell good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who tell good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength. Lift it up. Don't be afraid. Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold, your God!" 10Behold, the Lord Yahweh will come as a mighty one, and his arm will rule for him. Behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will gather the lambs in his arm, and carry them in his bosom. He will gently lead those who have their young. (WEB)

Mark 1:1-8

1The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2As it is written in the prophets, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight!'" 4John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. 5All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins. 6John was clothed with camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. 7He preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen. 8I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit." (WEB)


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