"Comfort, oh comfort my people," says your God.
"Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem, but also make it very clear That she has served her sentence, that her sin is taken care of - forgiven! She's been punished enough and more than enough, and now it's over and done with."
Thunder in the desert! "Prepare for God's arrival! Make the road straight and smooth, a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys, level off the hills, Smooth out the ruts, clear out the rocks.
Then God's bright glory will shine and everyone will see it. Yes. Just as God has said."
A voice says, "Shout!" I said, "What shall I shout?" "These people are nothing but grass, their love fragile as wildflowers.
The grass withers, the wildflowers fade, if God so much as puffs on them. Aren't these people just so much grass?
True, the grass withers and the wildflowers fade, but our God's Word stands firm and forever."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)