(Wondering what this is? For more information, see the introduction.)
Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah, Here is your God!
See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep. – Isaiah 40
In our competitive society today, values like love, care and compassion tend to be perceived as signs of weakness as opposed to strength. And yet, this joyful passage tells us that almighty and powerful God tends lovingly and gently to His sheep. True strength comes from the lifting up of all peoples: from solidarity, from love and from compassion. What would our society look like if we sought after power in this way? How would it change our politics, our workplace, and our relationships?
Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.
This Advent devotional is intended to help you enter into the season of advent. We hope you enjoy it! Many thanks to the Rev. Paul Jennings for his help putting these reflections together.