By Jen Wise
Isaiah 40:1-11

I’m wondering if you’re feeling the way I’m feeling? Like we’re entering the holidays with a good measure of anxiety and stress, with a bit of cheer sprinkled on top? 

I mean, it’s been a long year, right? Aren’t we all kind of a little worn out? 

It’s almost like Advent arrives at just the right time. When the world feels darkest. When we’ve had more than our fill of tragedies, hate, division, and unrest. When we’re just done from all the projects, responsibilities, needs, and expectations. When it seems that everywhere we turn we see wounded bodies, souls, and hearts. 

Looking at the state of our country, the state of our world, I’m reminded of the ending of Warsan Shire’s poem, I Know What They Did Yesterday Afternoon

“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered

This is Advent. We’re weary, we’re waiting – but we’re hopeful. 

Because we know that what Isaiah prophesied in the Old Testament is true: that sliver of light that we see now, will be a great light – sunbursts of light – when our Savior arrives on Christmas Day.

This is the hope of Christmas. This is what we long for and look forward to as we walk through the four weeks of Advent. Because when we look out at the world we see brokenness – and when we look at ourselves we see the same. We are people, and a world, in need of a Savior. 

Who needs good news? Everyone, everyone, everyone.
Who needs hope? Everyone, everyone, everyone.
Who need peace? Everyone, everyone, everyone. 

Verse 11 of today’s passage says this,
“Climb a high mountain, Zion.
You’re the preacher of good news.
Raise your voice. Make it good and loud, Jerusalem.
You’re the preacher of good news.
Speak loud and clear. Don’t be timid!” (MSG)

You’re the preacher of good news, Liberti! Let’s raise our voices, good and loud, and spread this good news to an aching world. And let’s preach peace, full volume, in the way we love our neighbors, extend grace, and serve our families. And let’s preach hope, at the top of our lungs, as we care for the down-and-out, release burdens, and celebrate our coming Lord. 

This Advent Reflection is part of the Advent & Christmas Prayerbook which you can download here