Susquehanna Morning

Susquehanna Morning

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Advent 2 Sunday: Comfort

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together.

Our reading this evening is from Isaiah 40:1-11. We will be reading the New Revised Standard Version.

Comfort, O comfort my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that she has served her term,
    that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all people shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
    their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
    surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
    but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good tidings;[a]
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,[b]
    lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
10 See, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
11 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.

Those who wish to continue with Lectio Divina can click here, and return to this page for the meditation and prayer.


Imagine that God had abandoned you. Had abandoned your people. (For good reason.) Had gone, pulled up stakes, disappeared, shown no sign, sent no inspiration, left no messenger. Imagine the echoing, horrible, nightmarish silence of God. 

Imagine your city destroyed, your political and religious leaders either carried off into exile or butchered, your holy place.... church, synagogue, mosque, temple.... burned to the ground, all in a siege that takes torturously long.... years upon years.

Imagine your eyes swollen with tears, your heart numb with fear, your home an unrecognizable wilderness. 

Imagine trying to pray. Imagine what your prayers might be like. Imagine how you might call out to God-- in pleading, in sorrow, in anger. Imagine abandoning prayer. Imagine giving up.

Imagine, just imagine: After too long, far too long, an answer. This answer.



"My Soul in Stillness Waits," written and performed my Marty Haugen


O God, we your people call out to you this hour, this night, from our many places of exile. Our souls thirst for you, our flesh faints for you. We long for your presence. Come, without delay. Give the comfort only you can provide. Restore us, God of exiles, in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

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