In the Wilderness

December 4, 2017

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11

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. 

A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
   make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
   and all people shall see it together,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ –Isaiah 40:1-5

I probably listen to too much news resulting in my occasionally reacting by wanting to run away and hide hoping all the craziness in our world will just go away. The irony is that the only thing I have to run away from is me. We are responsible for our current state of being. As Isaiah is saying in the scripture quoted above, like the Israelites of his day, we are paying the price for our sins, but thanks be to God forgiveness and redemption are available.

We are indeed wandering in a wilderness where we like to identify the sins of others defined by us but are not too interested in seeing our wrongdoings as set forth by God. Greed and lust for power are traits of successful people in our vernacular, the antithesis of loving God and loving one another. We have a few voices crying in this wilderness to whom we need to listen. The Reverend Doctor William Barber is one (See Jim Wallis is another (see These prophets, a progressive and an evangelical, share the same call and the same love. Oneness comes from God.

Advent is a good time to examine ourselves, let God cleanse us of anything that is holding us back from loving as Jesus loves, and to do the justice we are called to do.

Prayer: Lord, search us and cleanse us of anything that is separating us from you. Amen

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.