Isaiah 52, 7-10
Something to read
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.
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James Version, click here
Something to think about
In today’s scripture we see four different characters. First the Lord: he comforts, he redeems, he bares his holy arm, all depicting the Lord in triumph.
Secondly the messenger, the one who announces the good news running from Babylon to Jerusalem. When we read beautiful in v7 we can think in terms of a welcome, the beauty of the message is it was so desperately wanted and welcomed.
The third character is the sentinels, who are positioned in such a way to guard Jerusalem but also on the lookout for messengers from afar. They wait with an eager patience to see the outcome of the battle between the Lord and the Babylonians, and they instantly know the news being brought is good.
The fourth character is the ruins of Jerusalem, encouraged to break forth in singing. We can think of these who had given up hope of victory, that expectation had left and their hopes were ‘ruined’.
No more, now is the time to sing says the prophet. Three weeks today we will celebrate Christmas Day and the incarnation of Jesus Christ. This is the good news that is on our horizons.
Think about what God is doing, think on the announcements you will hear and welcome, think of our own eagerness for the good news, think on the need for each one of us to break out once again from our ruin to our restoration.
Something to do
December is a month that seems to move faster than any other. There is a real danger that we will look back and have failed to see the good news that was being announced in our midst. It seems an impossible task but try today to step away from all that distracts, whatever that may be, and have some time of silence with your own thoughts.
The following few weeks are going to be busy, challenging and, I hope for each of us, great value. Take time today to breathe deeply, wait patiently and look forward expectantly to the rest of the Advent and Christmas season.
Something to pray
Lord Jesus Christ, our prayer today is that You bring us to a standstill to admire Your majesty. Speak into our lives that we may hear You and see You at work. Jesus we love You. Amen.
Today's contributor is Russell Winfield, a URC minister who trained at Westminster College, Cambridge.