"Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God..."
God bids Isaiah to comfort the people of Israel and let them know they will be OK. The readings of Isaiah are our Advent mainstays...we grew up with these beautiful readings promising the coming of the Kingdom of God. So, why are we always so fearful? How could we fear a God who gives a messenger the image of a shepherd, gathering his sheep? (verse 11) Isaiah is urging the people to prepare for a gentle, loving God who shepherds them instead of punishing them. Isaiah is laying the foundation for Jesus, the God of forgiveness, compassion, mercy, and inclusion. The people were more used to a God requiring obedience to the rules. One wonders if these words to Isaiah can also urge us to comfort the people around us this day. People are stressed out. People are fearful and anxious. People need to hear words of comfort, just like the people of Israel...you will be OK. God loves us all. Today, let's keep our eyes and ears open for someone, friend or stranger, who may need a few words of comfort. And let's give comfort to God's people. Love, heidi