Isaiah 40:1-5 “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.” vs. 1, 2
As the people of Judah and Jerusalem sat huddled in exile, the prophet had words of comfort for them. Their sins had been many and their suffering great, but now all of that was history–their future was bright. They had not been forgotten by the Lord, but they had been forgiven. As we cycle into the new church year and settle into the season of Advent we can expect to hear that same message–it’s a repeating theme for the people of God. There will be low times, seasons when we get a full dose of life’s darker side, sometimes as a consequence of our wandering ways, and occasionally just because that’s how life is. And always, just at the moment of our greatest loneliness and alienation, a word of comfort comes our way. These first days of Advent are a time to focus on those ways in which we’ve lost ourselves, and perhaps even consider repentance and change. The reflection could be painful–that’s how it is when we confront our own sin–but just when it seems darkest we catch a glimpse of the coming Light. We do not face punishment as people of grace, what lies ahead is a great and a glorious future. Even in the age of COVID God comes to us, again and again and again, as often as we need a strong word of comfort and hope!
Thought for the Day: What happens when I lose myself?