In a short time, a very short time, shall not Lebanon become fertile land and fertile land turn into forest? The deaf, that day, will hear the words of a book and, after shadow and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see. But the lowly will rejoice in the Lord even more and the poorest exult in the Holy One of Israel; for tyrants shall be no more, and scoffers vanish, and all be destroyed who are disposed to do evil: those who gossip to incriminate others, those who try at the gate to trip the arbitrator and get the upright man''s case dismissed for groundless reasons. Therefore the Lord speaks, the God of the House of Jacob, Abraham''s redeemer: No longer shall Jacob be ashamed, no more shall his face grow pale, for he shall see what my hands have done in his midst, he shall hold my name holy. They will hallow the Holy One of Jacob, stand in awe of the God of Israel. Erring spirits will learn wisdom and murmurers accept instruction.
Today is Friday, the 6 December, in the First Week of Advent.
The community of Taizé sing De noche iremos: ‘By night we search for the source of living water. It is only our thirst that guides our way.’ This time of prayer is an opportunity to quench that thirst a little - my thirst for God, the source of life - a chance to drink from the spring, from the source of living water, and be refreshed.
Today’s reading is from the prophet Isaiah.
Once more today we have words of prophecy from Isaiah that speak to some of the deepest desires within us. Out of all these words, what did you really hear? What do you remember now?
The prophet speaks of Lebanon becoming fertile land. What needs in you, or in the world around you, does that prophecy of fertility speak to?
The deaf will hear, we are told, and the eyes of the blind will see. How do those words connect with the needs or longings you are aware of in yourself or in the world around you?
We are also told that “tyrants shall be no more”. What does this mean to you? Do any tyrants come to mind? Is this a prophecy you desire to see fulfilled?
The passage ends by telling us, “erring spirits will learn wisdom, and murmurers accept instruction”. How does this image speak to you – this picture of people perhaps no longer resisting and learning things they need to learn?
As the passage is read once more, listen again for the words that touch you, that connect with your own desires and longings, and speak to you most strongly.
Speak to God now about where his word has touched you, moved you, stirred something in you. Ask God, perhaps, what these feelings tell you about your own desires, for yourself and for your world.
O Wisdom,Lord and Ruler,Root of Jesse,Key of David,Rising Sun,King of the nations,Emmanuel,Come, Lord Jesus.