Scripture: Isaiah 49:1-18
49 Coasts and islands,[a] listen to me;
distant peoples, pay attention.
The Lord called me before I was born.
He named me while I was in my mother’s womb.
2 He made my words like a sharp sword;
he hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me like a sharpened arrow;
he hid me in his quiver.
3 He said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4 But I myself said: I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and futility;
yet my vindication is with the Lord,
and my reward is with my God.
5 And now, says the Lord,
who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him
so that Israel might be gathered to him;
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
and my God is my strength—
6 he says,
“It is not enough for you to be my servant
raising up the tribes of Jacob
and restoring the protected ones of Israel.
I will also make you a light for the nations,
to be my salvation to the ends of the earth.”
7 This is what the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel, his Holy One, says
to one who is despised,
to one abhorred by people,[b]
to a servant of rulers:
“Kings will see, princes will stand up,
and they[c] will all bow down
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel—and he has chosen you.”
8 This is what the Lord says:
I will answer you in a time of favor,
and I will help you in the day of salvation.
I will keep you, and I will appoint you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land,
to make them possess the desolate inheritances,
9 saying to the prisoners: Come out,
and to those who are in darkness: Show yourselves.
They will feed along the pathways,
and their pastures will be on all the barren heights.
10 They will not hunger or thirst,
the scorching heat or sun will not strike them;
for their compassionate one will guide them,
and lead them to springs.
11 I will make all my mountains into a road,
and my highways will be raised up.
12 See, these will come from far away,
from the north and from the west,[d]
and from the land of Sinim.[e][f]
13 Shout for joy, you heavens!
Mountains break into joyful shouts!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
14 Zion says, “The Lord has abandoned me;
the Lord has forgotten me!”
15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or lack compassion for the child of her womb?
Even if these forget,
yet I will not forget you.
16 Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders[g] hurry;
those who destroy and devastate you will leave you.
18 Look up, and look around.
They all gather together; they come to you.
As I live”—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
“you will wear all your children[h] as jewelry,
and put them on as a bride does.