Sunday, December 11, 2016
by Katherine Randolph
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
Dec 11 (2 weeks into Advent)
The Israelites needed comfort. While in exile, in the wilderness, they needed to know that their God was with them, that He had not abandoned them. They needed to hear hope that He would shepherd and provide for them. Not only is God reassuring his people that he has not forgotten them, He is telling them that He is coming to them. He is coming into the wilderness of their lives to meet them where they are.
During this season of advent, what wilderness do you find yourself in? For some this may mean a time of frustration amidst a bitter political campaign year. For some this means journeying through a difficult diagnosis and treatment or through a broken relationship.
But what good news God sends us! In the midst of our brokenness, our heartbreak, and our exhaustion, God promises to send one who will be greater and who will carry us and lead us gently. In light of this hope, how will you prepare yourself, your family, and your community to hear this Good News? God, in Christ, is coming to redeem us. He is coming to meet us right where we are, in the wilderness of our own lives. Is your heart ready to receive God when He meets you?
Father, this Advent, help us to focus on what you are creating and how your glory is being revealed in our lives and in our communities. Prepare our hearts so that we may be ready when you meet us in the wilderness.
Photo Credit: Visual art by A Sanctified Art