“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: ‘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;'” (Isaiah 40:1-4a)
What a great passage to read for Advent for these words celebrate the coming of our King, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What a great comfort to know that our God is in control of all things. Isaiah wrote this for the Jews who would go into exile 100 years later. He wanted to comfort them in the midst of their afflictions and pain, to let them know that their trials were only temporary. Deliverance was a sure and certain event that would come when the Messiah appeared. This is certain because the Lord God is almighty, the one who created all things and sustains them by His word. No nation can stand in His way for He controls the ebb and flow of history.
And we should also remember that the Lord cares for each one of us. He is a mighty warrior but also a tender shepherd who lovingly cares for each lowly member of His flock. In these days of political turmoil and violence we might tend to forget that God is love. Many people think that, based on what they experience or see with their eyes, God is powerless or unfeeling or even cruel. The words of Isaiah assure us that He is not. The promises of God are true and sure. They bring comfort to those in turmoil. You can just feel the comfort and peace flooding your being as you read these wonderful words. That is the peace and love of the Holy Spirit that fills you and testifies to the reality of the good news of peace and salvation in Jesus Christ. We can not keep that good news to ourselves for we, the church, are called to be the herald of God’s peace to all.