Isaiah 35:1-10, December 6, 2021

Reading:

The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
They will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
Then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.

Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals lurk
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.
A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
nor fools go astray on it.
No lion will be there,
nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it.
It is for those with a journey to make,
and on it the redeemed will walk.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
They will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.

Reflection:  

It was tough to be a prophet in the Hebrew Scripture.  Driven at times to despair, due to the people’s total disregard for God, prophets in the Old Testament, had to constantly speak up against the people’s infidelities towards God.  This, many times, would land them in hot water with those they were trying to challenge and question.    Many prophets experienced death.  Even though they experienced depression and misery, the prophets of the Old Testament never gave up.  It is the hopefulness and expectation of the prophets that we should always recall.  They were constantly ascertaining the day the Lord would be coming where all wrongs would be corrected and righted.  In many aspects it is tough to be a Christian in today’s world.  We are not physically challenged or hurt, but psychologically and spiritually many in our society look down on us as foolish.  As Christians, who walk by faith and not by sight, one thing is certain, despair is not part of our outlook.  Like the prophets of old we are invited to live in hopeful expectation for the coming of Jesus in glory.