Tag Archives: comfort

Looking to Advent – Comfort

By SolLuna (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
For the week before Advent, I thought I’d post some music.  For the opportunity to reflect and lead us into a journey to Christmas.  Advent is a time of preparation, of preparing for God to come in human form, into the world, our lives and our hearts.  Are we ready?  Prepared?

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It’s Over #adventbookclub – Day 15

Encourage God’s People

40 Our God has said:

“Encourage my people!
    Give them comfort.
Speak kindly to Jerusalem
    and announce:
Your slavery is past;
    your punishment is over.
I, the Lord, made you pay
    double for your sins.”

Someone is shouting:
“Clear a path in the desert!
    Make a straight road
    for the Lord our God.
Fill in the valleys;
flatten every hill
    and mountain.
Level the rough
    and rugged ground.
Then the glory of the Lord
    will appear for all to see.
The Lord has promised this!”

Your God Is Here!

There is good news
    for the city of Zion.
Shout it as loud as you can
    from the highest mountain.
Don’t be afraid to shout
to the towns of Judah,
    “Your God is here!”
10 Look! The powerful Lord God
is coming
to rule
    with his mighty arm.
He brings with him
what he has taken in war,
    and he rewards his people.
11 The Lord cares for his nation,
just as shepherds care
    for their flocks.
He carries the lambs
    in his arms,
while gently leading
    the mother sheep.

I wrote about this passage in the run up to #adventbookclub (should have checked it wasn’t going to come up!)

Maggi speaks of writing this book in The Fens, with the deepest valley being less than twelve feet deep (p72).  I grew up in Sheffield, famously, like Rome, “built on seven hills”.  When I learnt to drive every start was a hill start – either uphill or downhill! (And I see Maggi says she was born on the edge of The Peak District – so not far away).

Hills are beautiful and dramatic, but level land brings something different, a unique kind of clarity and perspective.  That reminds me that we need to stand in a different place sometimes to get a different view.  Of life, of hope, of God.

This vast array of images and metaphors of God used in this passage reinforces that.  Perhaps sometimes I need to go and stand in another place and have another look?

Lord,
there are so many facets of you
to see,
to encounter,
to enrich our lives.

Forgive me
when I get used to the view,
fail to appreciate it
or become loathe to move
and see things from a different angle;
when I get stuck in my ways
of worship,
of prayer,
of meeting you;
when I forget
that others might have a different view of you,
that is still you.

Lord,
help me to move,
to look differently,
to explore you more fully,
for in you lies all I am looking for
and all I need.

Comfort my people

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.

 

Comforting

I’m sure we all like to feel comfortable, safe, protected.  Often life feels anything but…

Isaiah 66:10-14

10 If you love Jerusalem,
    celebrate and shout!
If you were in sorrow
because of the city,
    you can now be glad.
11 She will nurse and comfort you,
just like your own mother,
    until you are satisfied.
You will fully enjoy
    her wonderful glory.

12 The Lord has promised:
    “I will flood Jerusalem
with the wealth of nations
    and make the city prosper.
Zion will nurse you at her breast,
carry you in her arms,
    and hold you in her lap.
13 I will comfort you there
like a mother
    comforting her child.”

14 When you see this happen,
    you will celebrate;
your strength will return
    faster than grass can sprout.
Then everyone will know
that the Lord is present
    with his servants,
but he is angry
    with his enemies.

This passage seems hard to work out in the current political situation in Jerusalem and Israel, but what it does point us to is the loving arms of God – reaching out to comfort his people. A parent gently holding their child, nursing and carrying.  A promise, a hope, however things seem where we are today.   It is in a similar vein to

Matthew 23:37Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed the prophets and have stoned the messengers who were sent to you. I have often wanted to gather your people, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you wouldn’t let me.

Words also spoken to Jerusalem.

God longs to reach out and comfort.  Will we let him?  Will we let him have his way that comfort may come to all his people?

Thank you Lord,
that you long to bring hope and comfort.

Forgive me the things I do to fight against it,
the things I put in the way,
my actions that stop your comfort reaching others.

Lord,
may your kingdom,
your glory,
your comfort
and your peace
come