2nd Sunday in Advent

December 6, 2020

Devotional by: Rev. Dr. Pam Feeser, CPC

Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
    that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord[a];
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b]
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.”

You who bring good news to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[c]
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
10 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.
11 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.

Comfort and Lead

We have all had as much of 2020 as we can stand. The year began with shock, stunned disbelief at the rapid spread of this, literally, worldwide deadly virus. From there we have ridden a roller coaster filled with stress and anxiety. It’s hard to even remember who we were last January. We have all been challenged beyond anything we’ve ever experienced.

This year Christmas has received an early welcome by most of us. Each of us reaching out for encouragement, hope, joy and comfort. As we reach out we find that God has already been reaching for us, to touch us, hold us, be with us, comfort us.

Our scripture begins: “Comfort, comfort my people! says your God” what wonderful words to hear from the one who truly can comfort our fears, anxieties, woes. God, the Source of All Being, our Creator, the One Who Loved Us Into Being is reaching out to us again calling us beloved. God, our Salvation, Redeemer has come down to truly Be With Us, Emmanuel, even in the chaos and pain of our living. God, our Nurturer, Constant Companion, Guide walks our chosen paths with us whispering to our souls, “This way.” God, the Architect of all and Ruler of Creation reaches out to us, a divine embrace birthing healing and salvation by grace.

No matter what you and I are going through, no matter how we choose to be as we go through it; God reaches out, offering this wonder-full divine embrace. You might be saying, yea right, I’ve heard all this before but nothing changes. Please take a look at the picture above. The hand on the right is God’s hand, see God’s finger reaching out? The hand on the left is “Adam’s” hand. Notice Adams hand just hangs there, not yet responding to God’s reach. Respond, say yes to God’s reach for you. Not just for this one thing or one time. But grasp onto God’s reach and don’t let go. Allow God’s embrace to envelop you, your every move, your every thought, your every decision, your every breath. Allow yourself to learn and grow in God’s ways and you will notice that you change, your reactions change, your strength changes. You’ll notice that things that once destroyed you no longer have power over you. But you must grasp God’s reach and hold on.

There is much in our secular world about the “MAGIC” of Christmas. God’s Beloved, my sisters and brothers, there is NOTHING magic about the true Christmas. Life doesn’t just POOF and the world is suddenly utopia. But God’s reach, Emmanuel, the baby in the manger is there for you to accept and allow into the intricacies of your life and living. And you will know true hope, joy, peace, and comfort today and every tomorrow regardless of what’s happening around you. You will live in confidence that God does win, always.

Dear One Who Loved Me Into Being, thank you for your reaching out to me and all my loved ones. Please help us learn to respond to your reach each and every day that we might know your comfort even in the here and now. Amen.

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