Joel: A call to repentance

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From the prophet Joel 1:13-14; 2:13-17 (circa 400 BC):

Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!
Wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived
of offering and libation.
Proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
gather the elders,
all who dwell in the land,
into the house of the LORD, your God,
and cry to the LORD!

Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love,
and relenting in punishment.

Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind a blessing,
grain offering and libation
for the LORD, your God.

Blow the horn in Zion!
Proclaim a fast,
call an assembly!
Gather the people,
sanctify the congregation;
assemble the elderly;
gather the children,
even infants nursing at the breast;
let the bridegroom leave his room,
and the bride her bridal tent.

Between the porch and the altar
let the priests weep,
let the ministers of the LORD weep and say:
“Spare your people, LORD!
do not let your heritage become a disgrace,
a byword among the nations!
Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”