Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
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.
Scripture: Isaiah 40:1-5
Back in March, my niece planned to travel from the south of England with her husband and two children for an 8-day visit to Florida. They were excited about taking the kids to Disney World. We, as well as our son and his family who live not far from Disney World, were all set to meet up with them. I was of course excited about seeing them but also eager to know how the kids would like Disney World.
Years earlier, when I first came to this country, I arrived in California. My new husband took me to Disneyland and I was mesmerized. I had never seen anything like it. The song It’s a Small, Small World stayed with me over the years.
Then the pandemic hit; our trips and our get-togethers were cancelled. Disney World closed down. Since then so much more has wrecked our lives. We have stood by helplessly while friends and family members have suffered isolation combined with sickness and even death. Our enforced separation and distancing has given us a smaller and smaller world.
As we read Isaiah’s words, “Comfort, comfort my people,” we remember that God has come to his people again and again with hope and solace. Isaiah, in spite of years and generations of exile and oppression suffered by his people, communicates these words of hope from God. He goes on to tell us In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord” portending John the Baptist’s cry in announcing the coming of the Messiah in the Gospels.
In this Advent season, we also have the wonderful opportunity to hear anew the story of the coming of the baby Jesus and to anticipate once again the miracle of Christ. In hearing this story anew, our world may be small but our hearts are filled with joy. In so many ways we are able to reach out to others to tell the news that God comforts us, that God sent his only son to us and that God abides in us.
Core Idea: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we receive comfort and consolation from God.