'Here is your God!'
Comfort ye, my people by George Frideric Handel Performed byMaldwyn Davies, The Sixteen, Harry Christophers (conductor) «Messiah» © Hyperion Hyperion
Today is Tuesday the 7 December, the feast of St Ambrose, in the second week of Advent.
Maldwyn Davies sings Comfort Ye My People, from Handel’s Messiah.
Today’s reading is from the Prophet Isaiah.
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 for ever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
‘Here is your God!’
See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
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.
What words leap out at you from Isaiah’s almost cinematic poetry? What images stay with you? Spend a moment luxuriating in them.
‘Here is your God!’ How do you feel to have those words called out to you?
As you listen to the passage again, notice how the words speak to you of the character of God?
A glorious combination in today’s reading of God’s tenderness and might.
What are you in need of right now? Whether it be strong action from God, or God’s enveloping, comforting hold, or something completely different, you can ask for what you need now.
Lord and Ruler
Root of Jesse
Key of David
King of the Nations
Come, Lord Jesus