Isaiah 40:9-11

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.


from Donald Snyder, First Christian Church, Beckley

What began with a “voice of one calling” (v.3) continues with the promise of restoration.  This message of deliverance begins in Jerusalem but continues through the world.  Moreover, with the gentleness of a shepherd and the efficiency of a soldier it is the Lord who will gain the victory for His people.  Like the layers of an onion, though, this promise of new exodus for Israel takes on new meaning with the arrival of the Christ-child, and will receive fulfillment at the inauguration of the Kingdom at Christ’s return.  In the meantime we struggle along life’s journey trusting in our God to be at our front, as well as our rear guard.  In our efforts we must never give into fear simply because it is a struggle.  For, “the one who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

As you call to us, Lord, strengthen us to persevere in faith.