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Lift up your voice, do not fear.

Scripture Reading       Mark 1: 1 – 8

Lift up your voice. Lift it up, do not fear.                                                                                                     
Feeding, gathering, carrying, leading: This is how God will come.                                                  
The old will pass away.  A new world will dawn.                                                                                            
Love, faithfulness righteousness, peace: Theses will mark God’s new day.                   
Love needs a path.  Peace needs a highway.                                                                                        
Even as we wait, let us make a way for God:  In our hearts and in our world.

1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way,

the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.

And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”