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Tuesday, December 02, 2008
When God’s people are in distress, messengers of hope come to remind of God’s steadfast love. Isaiah speaks a message of comfort to God’s people in exile: God will bring them back to the land of promise. The other scripture passages remind us of the good news of God’s faithfulness. We, too, are called to be messengers of hope. Isaiah 40:1–11 The book of Isaiah contains at least three sections, each speaking in and out of a particular era in Israel’s history. The first 39 chapters, dating from the 8th century BCE, are a series of warnings of coming disaster for the people of Judah. Chapter 40 begins the section of God’s word to the Judahites after their kingdom fell in 586 BCE. At that time many people were carried into exile in Babylon, perhaps even the prophet who delivers this message. After years in Babylon, many Hebrew exiles had built homes and established comfortable lives there. But empires rise and fall, and Cyrus of Persia came to threaten Babylon. Cyrus was thought to be more tolerant of the Hebrew exiles. There was hope for a new beginning. In Isaiah 40:1–11, the prophet speaks to persuade the exiles to go back to Jerusalem. Cyrus will be God’s instrument in fostering their return. Indeed, Cyrus eventually did provide for rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple. In this passage, God sits in the midst of the divine council and speaks a message of comfort to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem. Their suffering is coming to an end; they have paid double the penalty for their sins – their defiant acts against God’s ways. The exiles hope there will be a way for them to return to the land of promise. The prophet calls on the leaders of the people to prepare this “way of the Lord,” to make possible the return of God’s people. God is creating a new geography, raising valleys and lowering mountains, smoothing the path that leads the exiles back to Jerusalem – back to the heart and center of their religion. God’s people can confidently proclaim that God is faithful. Even though humankind is transitory, like grass in a field, God endures. The word of God stands forever. Verses 9-11 answer last week’s question: Where is God? God is here, Isaiah reminds the people. God the shepherd is coming with strength and with tenderness. God’s glory will once more be seen among the people. And, after this time of exile, God’s glory and presence will not be revealed to only Israel and Judah. “All people shall see it together” (verse 5). The psalmist echoes Isaiah’s proclamation that God’s salvation is near at hand. Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13 recalls that God has acted in the past to forgive and restore. And God’s “glory”– the light of God’s presence – will be seen again. The marks of God’s salvation are steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness, and peace; these define the path for those living into God’s reign. In 2 Peter 3:8–15a, Peter writes to counter the claims of those who say that the present age will continue forever. Peter calls readers to prepare immediately for life in God’s reign by repenting and leading lives of holiness and godliness. Mark 1:1–8 begins the story of Jesus by introducing John the Baptizer. Like Isaiah’s “voice crying in the wilderness,” John is a messenger preparing the way for God’s coming. And, as in the other readings, the desired response of those who hear the message is repentance – turning from disobedience and turning toward God’s way. When we are despairing, when we feel far from our true center, we need the message of hope contained in the lessons for this Sunday. God is faithful. God will restore and guide. Isaiah, Cyrus, and John all were God’s messengers of this hopeful word. When have you encountered such messengers of hope? What message about God’s love and care do you want to tell others?

1 comments:

CHRIST IS KING

I love the man called jesus-a life of struggle and sacrifice for the betterment of mankind- this is the highest principle of life to live-struggle in any form- you want a strong body- train hard all the time- take one week off and you deteriorate- want a strong mind-read and learn everything as often as you can-want an enlightened soul- love god with all your heart and soul and struggle and sacrifice for the betterment of mankind-Life is a struggle- I wouldn't have it any other way- Free will

Moses and Mohamed are brothers of the same entity- one with a staff-one with a sword- for man needs to understand discipline- bless all the nations peoples and their messengers to bring peace and unity to her children-and our duty continues until all submit to the chosen one of peace and love-the struggle for the sick and poor-the one that sits at the right hand of the father- the Christ- man of peace- our duty continues under god




* my name is Solomon Sami Azar-born on the 13th January-1965. I have combined the century old ideas of Tesla and Einstein to produce safe nuclear fusion of heavy water in order to end the energy crisis- When the scientific community has found this and understands -the energy crisis will be over along with talks of greenhouse gases-I have been guided to this discovery by the heavens- by a force in this universe we are all connected to in spirit and pray to in the name of god- I have put together many signs and connections to form the big picture- I am a messenger of GOD---I have been sent by heaven to declare An Age of Unity has begun- world war 2 was Armageddon signified by two atomic bombs-An age of unity has begun

There is absolutely no question I understand how "crazy" this may seem-for crazy today is normal tomorrow-yet a serious matter is at hand- I hold the secret to the global energy crisis-one in which will drop costs of energy in all sectors-does it feel good as energy drops? imagine all sectors in which factories-schools-homes are powered by such-thus a battle of arrogance- like political party's who take sides- you who dont like my views or beliefs ignore my deeds- against my stand as a messenger with my free will-thus- energy crisis worsens- CATCH 22

some day the truth will reveal I am doing my duty-not arrogance-what is your excuse for not helping the son of man

I believe YOU will continue to ignore me as our global economy continues to crumble-nations continue to move military pawns around to secure energy assets for future use-and ww3 comes very soon- the religious people will say christ will come- I AM THE MESSENGER- thru me is christ and man does not force the hand of god- our duty on earth continues by faith until THY will be done on earth as it is in heaven- PEACE- thus- again you will ponder it- maybe even crucify and try to kill- for surely i have witnessed your ugly remarks upon this net-But I have have not come to be crucified- I have a message of unity- it seems you must be brought to your knees first before you listen- it happens in front of you with economic downturn- it is your fault- you ignore the messenger who brings a gift

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Kairos-Milwaukie UCC Blog

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary by Rev. Rick Skidmore and Rev. Jim Ogden.

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