LIVING HOPE

ADVENT reflections

As we journey towards Christmas this year, we know that everything will be different. 
To help us on our pilgrimage, 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.

DECEMBER 11

ISAIAH 40:27-31

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
‘My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God’?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Reflection

This passage is one of my favourites: simply because of how Isaiah provides us with an irrepressible statement of Hope.

It’s a statement that teaches us to draw our strength from the Lord.  At the start of the passage, Isaiah highlights how sometimes we may feel ‘Hidden’ or ‘disregarded’ but he is almost in disbelief at how little we rest on the Lord and hope in him: ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard?’ For he informs us that the Lord is ‘THE Everlasting God, who gives power to the weak’, ‘The Creator of the ends of the earth.’ Unlike us he does not grow ‘tired’, he does not grow ‘weary’, and thus we can’t help but feel uplifted that our Father wants to guide and to strengthen his broken people.

In this time of Advent, Hope is very much present as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and, although unrelated, Isaiah unlocks this Hope for God’s people in this passage, and it is one that fills us up and arms us to go and do God’s service:

‘…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles’.

This passage is a real and tangible declaration of Hope – especially relevant in these turbulent times – and one that we should remember in our hour of need but also when we prosper.