Day 8: God’s coming to the exiles

Isaiah 40:1-11

Advent Devotion for Sunday, December 8th Kay MacDowell
Isaiah 40: 1- 11

I’m impatient. I don’t like to wait. The four weeks of Advent, a time of preparation, often seem too much like waiting. Waiting for the celebration; waiting for the Christmas carols; waiting for God to appear (or so it feels). When can we leave all this Old Testament stuff and get to the cuddly, loving, happy stuff?

Well imagine how the Israelites exiled in Babylonia felt. They waited years never even knowing whether they would get to return to Jerusalem. Isaiah 40 speaks to them by declaring that the penalty for their wrong doing has been paid. A voice says prepare the way of the Lord. That still speaks to us today.

In this Isaiah passage, among the images of God as a mighty warrior as well as a gentle shepherd, what struck me this year was verse 8, “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word (my emphasis) of our God will stand forever.”

That is what we are preparing for. To be reminded that the word became flesh and lived among us and the penalty for our wrong doing was paid. Now that is worth the wait; worth preparing for.

God of power and mercy, guide us to use this Advent season to prepare ourselves to hear, to see and to live your word. Amen.

Kay MacDowell

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