1 Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
*The Gospel Reading Mark 1: 1-4
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,
2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"—
3 "a voice of one calling in the wilderness,'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.