Before Jesus’ birth, the angels appeared to some shepherds on the hillside outside Bethlehem. They came announcing good news of peace and renewal – tidings of comfort and joy.
We asked 25 people to prepare a meditation for us to read and listen to every day through Advent. We are delighted to share their work with you.
God bless you as you read, listen and pray.
ISAIAH 35:1-3, 8-10
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendour of our God.
3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way.
8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Have you ever waited and waited for something? Perhaps a birthday, holiday or a wedding. Or spring bulbs to burst through after the long hard winter? We look at the calendar, we journey through the seasons and eagerly await the event with great anticipation! Advent is about waiting – patiently
The people in the bible knew that they were waiting for the Messiah. Multiple prophecies told that one day He would come but they didn’t know when or what that might look like.
In Isaiah 35 1-3 the verses speak about how the desert and the parched land will be glad, the wilderness will rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it will burst into bloom.
Jesus described Himself as living water and these ancient verses are a beautiful picture of the coming of Jesus bringing huge relief to the arid desert land, like water in pouring through the cracked and dusty parched land, bringing huge relief and allowing life in abundance …transforming the desert.
For a minute why not close your eyes and imagine what you might see as water is poured out over a dry, cracked landscape…. Slowly but surely plants would begin to emerge, new shoots would spring up and flowers open. People would be drawn to behold the sight and then rejoice greatly and shout for joy
It is always a joy when testing times come to an end, our waiting is over and we are keen to tell our friends and share it with them .
Dave and I are about to plant bulbs and plants in our garden and I know that we will wait with eager anticipation for them to come through; for them to bring life into our garden and when they do, the wait will have been so worthwhile!
Just as you have waited for a special occasion; a birthday or wedding… just as you wait for freshly planted bulbs or seeds to start sprouting, when they finally do come they bring you great joy.
At the moment many of us are waiting to see friends and family again and the waiting may feel difficult …but we trust that Jesus is with us in the waiting.
Jesus came as an infant baby. He came so that He would bring relief to the parched land, He came for the people that had waited for the fulfilling of scriptures. He came to bring joy, relief, forgiveness. He came to bring them and us a very living hope.
Thank-you Lord that You bring joy to those who wait and that when You came as a baby you brought a Living Hope into our own lives. Help us in this season of Advent to remember that You bring us life. Thank-you Lord that in Jesus we are able to see the glory of the Lord and the splendour of God. Amen