One of the most famous pieces of prophecy about the coming of Jesus today – Isaiah 40:1-5; 9-11. And one I suspect that any of you who’ve ever sung in a choir that’s performed Handel’s Messiah will be unable to resist singing along with.
Maggi points out that the word “comfort” used to have a wider meaning than perhaps we think now. It is not just a soothing supportive hug – it could also be encouragement as a parent pushes their child forwards to encourage them to participate in something. At the same time, God is also seen as both strong and compassionate in equal measure, responding as he needs.
I’d not thought of this wider sense of “comforting” before. I’d thought it was more about taking heart – “you may be oppressed now, but your Messiah is coming”. I hadn’t thought that it might be “others are oppressed now, your Lord will take action”.
Lord – let us rejoice because you are coming. Let us take comfort in every sense – reassurance that you are on your way, and encouragement to keep the faith and witness to that hope of your coming again. Amen.
Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.