as we prepare with joy
to celebrate the gift of the Christ-child,
embrace the earth with your glory
and be for us a living hope
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thus says the Lord:
Maintain justice, and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
and my deliverance be revealed.
Happy is the mortal who does this,
the one who holds it fast,
who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it,
and refrains from doing any evil.
Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say,
‘The Lord will surely separate me from his people’;
and do not let the eunuch say,
‘I am just a dry tree.’
For thus says the Lord:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
who choose the things that please me
and hold fast my covenant,
I will give, in my house and within my walls,
a monument and a name
better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
that shall not be cut off.
And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
and to be his servants,
all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,
and hold fast my covenant—
these I will bring to my holy mountain,
and make them joyful in my house of prayer;
their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house shall be called a house of prayer
for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God,
who gathers the outcasts of Israel,
I will gather others to them
besides those already gathered.
My heart is astir with gracious words;
as I make my song for the king,
my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are the fairest of men;
full of grace are your lips,
for God has blest you for ever.
Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one;
gird on your majesty and glory.
Ride on and prosper in the cause of truth
and for the sake of humility and righteousness.
Your right hand will teach you terrible things;
your arrows will be sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies,
so that peoples fall beneath you.
Your throne is God’s throne, for ever;
the sceptre of your kingdom is the sceptre of righteousness.
You love righteousness and hate iniquity;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia;
from ivory palaces the music of strings makes you glad.
Kings’ daughters are among your honourable women;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Hear, O daughter; consider and incline your ear;
forget your own people and your father’s house.
So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty;
he is your lord, so do him honour.
The people of Tyre shall bring you gifts;
the richest of the people shall seek your favour.
The king’s daughter is all glorious within;
her clothing is embroidered cloth of gold.
She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework;
after her the virgins that are her companions.
With joy and gladness shall they be brought
and enter into the palace of the king.
‘Instead of your fathers you shall have sons,
whom you shall make princes over all the land.
‘I will make your name to be remembered through all generations;
therefore shall the peoples praise you for ever and ever.’