Isaiah 52: 7-10
How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
who announces salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
These verses from Isaiah foretell the coming of a messenger with good news. It was shared with the people of Israel at a time in their lives when they were being “challenged to purify themselves and give up their persistent reliance on ritual magic and political maneuvering” (The Spiritual Formation Bible, NRSV).
New insight into God’s plan
The purpose of the challenge was to give the people new insight into God’s loving plan for them in the midst of troublesome, difficult and painful times. The messenger was on the way, announcing peace and salvation, bringing good news of restoration of what was lost. The messenger assured God’s people that they would sing again and have the great grace of God’s protection.
In reflecting on this text, it occurred to me that Jesus was not only the messenger. He was the MESSAGE. Jesus was the peace of God who came to live in the midst of humanity. He demonstrated the salvation of God as he healed those who were sick and gave hope to the hopeless. Jesus was the GOOD NEWS that God’s power could do what human power couldn’t.
A time to remember that God is with us
Christmas is the time when we celebrate the incarnation of God in Jesus. It is a time to celebrate that God loved us enough to “come down here,” and live as we live. Jesus walked as we walk, enjoyed time with friends, suffered with the suffering, worked and rested--like we do. He also revealed to us the best message that we could ever hope to receive – God is with us. IMMANUEL. No matter what challenges, troubles or difficulties we face, God is with us and will never leave us alone.
Feel the power of love
So I pray peace for you in this season. I pray for the salvation, safety, wholeness, and wonder of God--born anew in us each day that we breathe the breath of life. May you feel God’s love for you and for all of creation in this sacred season and in every season of your life. I pray that through you the world will come to know that love and its power to create peace, restoration, reconciliation and new life! That’s a message worth sharing!!!
How are you sharing this message of LOVE?