Isaiah 40:1-11, December 7, 2021

Reading:

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
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!”
I answer, “What shall I cry out?”
“All flesh is grass,
and all their glory like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower wilts,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it.
So then, the people is the grass.
Though the grass withers and the flower wilts,
the word of our God stands forever.”

Go up onto a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
Cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
Here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
Carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Reflection:  

Where there is life, there is hope.   These words may ring hollow in our world today with so much destruction, decay and violence; but our world is not dead.  It is alive and because it is alive there is hope.  As Christians, as we work to purify our world, it is vital for us to remember Jesus as the divine physician.  As members of the Body of Christ, we never work alone in changing our world, but side by side with Jesus.  It is Jesus, the divine physician who seeks to heal our world from sinfulness and disarray.  As we sometimes struggle with the enormity of our holy work, we remember the words of Isaiah:  Comfort, give comfort to my people.  All will be well because our hope does not come from just human activity, but from the hand of our Lord.