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Reflection on Isaiah 52

December 28, 2013

Here is a short reflection for the 4th day of Christmas which I wrote for St. Mark’s Advent and Christmas meditations book, Holy Longing: The Coming of the Light.   You can find all the meditations at the St. Mark’s blog,

Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

The lyrics of a well-known hymn capture the tidings of peace and good news which come when Christ is born into our world:

Comfort, comfort now my people;
tell of peace! So says our God.
Comfort those who sit in darkness
mourning under sorrow’s load.
To my people now proclaim
that my pardon waits for them!
Tell them that their sins I cover,
and their warfare now is over.

Here is John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, who tells of the comfort that Messiah will bring.  He lived in the desert, a rough and simple way of life – far from what the modern mind thinks of as comfort.

Here is the friend in an hour of darkness, the person who walks along the road with us when life is too full and darkness begins to close in.  We all have those times, when life is too much and comfort comes in the form of solace, even if just for a moment..

Here is the promise of forgiveness when my path leads me in places I don’t want to be -places which take me away from God, which is what sin is, separation.  God’s holy arm is bared for all to see, bring salvation, which for us means reconciliation and wholeness.

Here is Christ, entering life anew and bringing peace and joy, forever.

From → On Faith

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