Isaiah 40 Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
2 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.
3 A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 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.
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
This passage from scripture is one of the traditional ones we read during Advent. It's a message of reassurance, and comfort, and hope in a weary world. The people Isaiah was speaking to knew pain, and suffering, and anxiety. As do we.
It's hard to truly have hope in a world with so much violence. Images like the one of the earth from space are helpful to me, because they remind me that each one of us, on our small piece of the planet only sees one part of a much bigger picture. God sees the whole image, and promises that all will be made well in the fullness of time.
On this fifth day of December, even as we look with concern on painful images around us in the world, may we cling to the hope of Advent. May we be people who allow ourselves to be comforted by a God who has comforted his people throughout the generations.