‘COMFORT my people, comfort them.’ says your God
The prophecies of the Books of Isaiah are integral to our prayer and worship in Advent. It’s almost impossible to hear the opening of Isaiah 40 without also hearing the plaintive tones of Handel’s Messiah. This is a God who is invested in our lives. This is a God who sees our distress and wants to bring comfort.
From exile in Babylon Judah has cried out in anguish. They have found no source of comfort:
Zion stretches out her hands, with no one to comfort her.
God now speaks and ends the silence and emptiness of Exile. Judah is now to enjoy possibilities beyond her imaginings. The comfort that God offers is much more than solace, it is the promise of a complete reversal of fortunes. All the suffering that Judah has endured in exile will now be turned to joy.
There’s an element in the process of bringing comfort that acknowledges, but doesn’t judge, the source of pain. This is how God is with Judah. This is how God is with us.
Where are you most need God’s comfort this Advent?
(Isiah 40:1-11, Tuesday, Advent, Week 2)