The voices of Christmas Voices! It all started Thanksgiving Day. For some online listeners, it started the preceding week. Voices from the past ringing out those favorite Christmas melodies. You know… Elvis’ “Blue Christmas,” Bing’s “White Christmas” and
“Comfort, comfort my people! says your God. Speak compassionately to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her compulsory service has ended, that her penalty has been paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins! A voice is crying out: “Clear the Lord’s way in the desert! Make a level highway in the wilderness for our God!”
Isaiah 40:1-3 (Common English Bible)
the words that Jesus read from the Isaiah scroll in the temple: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners…” These words brought God’s message to Jerusalem was that God had not forgotten them. They had been tortured, enslaved, exiled, beaten down, made servants, attacked, and persecuted, but God had not forgotten them or the promise made to their ancestor Abraham. And how does God provide comfort? How does God provide deliverance to the oppressed? By sending the message to prepare the highway for the king – for God would be coming to rescue God’s people. “Make straight a highway for our God!” Israel was desolate, a wilderness, a desert, but the good news from this voice was that God would save them! God would not send another king or human ruler to do the job. God would come. That was Good News to Israel.
Emmanuel — God with us — in the midst of suffering and the messy stuff of life. God has not abandoned us. Are you in a desert today? Are you feeling lost, forgotten, downtrodden, beaten up by life and the world? Hear the Good News today: God sees, God knows, God has not forgotten. Hear God’s cry for you today, “Comfort my people!” “Good News” Isaiah proclaims! Can you imagine God’s thunderous voice calling out on your behalf today?