Preacher: Pastor Martin Erhardt
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
61:1 The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; 61:2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 61:3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion– to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, to display his glory. 61:4 They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. 61:8 For I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrongdoing; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. 61:9 Their descendants shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge that they are a people whom the LORD has blessed. 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 61:11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.
John 1:6-8, 19-28
1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 1:7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 1:8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 1:19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 1:20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 1:21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 1:22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 1:23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,'” as the prophet Isaiah said. 1:24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 1:25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 1:26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 1:27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 1:28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
5:16 Rejoice always, 5:17 pray without ceasing, 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit. 5:20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 5:21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 5:22 abstain from every form of evil. 5:23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.