Our scripture this morning is Isaiah 40:1-5.
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.”
This passage has been special to me for many years. It makes up the opening of Handel’s Messiah – the Tenor solos Comfort Ye, and Every Valley, followed by the chorus And the Glory of the Lord. I have been blessed to do those solos several times and believe me, singing together in praise has always been a blessing.
Isaiah writes to Israel in exile that “she has served her term, that her penalty is paid.” God offers them comfort and forgiveness, and leads them back to the land He had given them. He loves His people and He has work for them to do.
God promised Abraham “through you all nations will be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). This is the beginning of our Great Commission to come in the New Testament. We are called to “prepare the way of the Lord” so that “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” May it be so, Lord!
Gracious God, we are amazed that You call us to be part of Your heavenly plan. Forgive us for the times we have failed You and send us with Your strength to tell the world of Your love. Amen.