…In the wilderness prepare a way for the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for God…
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
He gently leads those that have young.
Isaiah 40:3, 9-11 NIV
Points to Ponder:
In today’s passage of Scripture, the prophet Isaiah calls for the messengers of Israel to deliver grand and exciting news to the world. The specific details of the message are that Israel should expect Messiah to arrive as an all-powerful Rescuer, but also as One with the gentleness of a shepherd who is dedicated to the welfare of His sheep. That He will come as the royal and sovereign Lord of all who tenderly cares for and defends His own. And that within His mighty arms He rules, protects and holds the nations. The final detail of Isaiah’s message is that Messiah will come as an up-close and personal God, One who is involved in the lives of His followers and knows each of with spiritual intimacy: “Here is your God!” (italics mine).
Indisputably, the news was magnificent in Isaiah’s day and remains equally so for us, not only in regard to the incarnate birth of Christ but also in regard to His second coming. If believers hear and truly understand the ramifications of this good news of Christ’s promise to take to heart the welfare of His own sheep, we can hardly keep from sharing it with the world. We may even find ourselves figuratively racing to the highest mountain and crying out. “Lift up your voice with a shout; lift it up, do not be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, Here is your God!” As the sheep of His pasture, Christ’s Church cannot keep the news to itself and continue to be the church.
– Copyright 2016, Carole Anne Hallyburton. All Rights Reserved.
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Focus for Reflection:
Does the grand news of Isaiah 40:3, 9-11 draw you toward any specific actions to take during and beyond this Advent season as you wait expectantly for Christ’s return?
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