This morning we are going to continue our exploration of the great biblical prophets, this time focusing on the works of Isaiah. Isaiah’s work comes to us as a single book, but scholars tell us this collection of poems, stories, rants, and rambles is more likely the result of a school of writers working over a span of time.
We typically turn to Isaiah during the period of Advent, that period of waiting and wanting that comes before Christmas time. However, Christmas is already in our collective shopping malls, big box stores, and on our radio stations.
Much of this is marketing and commerce, but this year, it seems to me, folks are yearning for the hope of Christmas in a way that feels different somehow. Perhaps, it’s the attendant stresses of a poor economy, the chill that settled upon the valley, but it seems like the soul of the nation is really waiting for hope to be born again.
Folks who know me, know, that I tend to be a lover of light and turn part bear, as the days grow shorter, to plagiarize a bit of Donald Hall, a favorite poet of mine.
Isaiah was a prophet, who stood between God and the people during a similar time of challenge and anticipation. Big things were happening in the life of the people of God and not all of them were good.
It is perhaps all the more remarkable that it is from this ground that we have some of very tender descriptions of God’s love. God is seen not just as a father, but as a mother comforting a wounded and challenged people.
This morning: we will celebrate that sense of being loved and comforted by God.