It is audacious and prophetic to declare peace in hard times.
Like the feet of the messenger in this passage, we find that the
miracle of the peace given to us is born in the brokenness around
and in us. To a city and people in disarray, Isaiah speaks peace
and salvation. The gospel we share with the world invites others
to live into a hope that never dies and acknowledges a kingdom
that will one day be revealed. The prophet proclaims it faithfully
and poetically, “All the ends of the earth shall see.”
Isaiah supports us in this season when we celebrate peace
in the midst of a violent world. The Lord’s approach encourages
us and the sentinels to “sing for joy,” for we see the promise of
peace and hope even when mired in our troubles. God comes,
comforts, redeems, and liberates.
Over ten years ago, I worked on building what is now the
Magdalene home on Lena Street. Amidst dirt, dust, and the
pain of giving life to a dream, a red ribbon appeared behind the
broken stucco and drew my eyes to it. Inspired and moved to
tears by my memories of Christmas and this humble sign of the
season—the only sign the house had to offer—I took that ribbon
with me in my spirit. The next day, the ribbon was gone, but I
realized that it had a permanent home within me, as does every
moment in which the kingdom of God breaks through.
If only for a moment, I take comfort. Then, moved to invite
others to protest life’s uncertainty with me, I take a deep breath
and allow my body to be still. This is by no means a solution to
every evil we confront as actively engaged people of faith in a
fallen world, but God appearing in plain sight is not something
I can ignore.
Love is the rule of the universe, sown in the seeds of creation and awakened time and time again by the presence of this season’s joys. May these oracles reach a critical mass that results in the revelation of God’s salvation to the ends of the earth.
Ecstasy over the Christmas miracle binds these passages together with unrestrained joy over what God has done and over who God is. The God whom these texts celebrate is a God who reigns in strength and whose activity on behalf of humankind is timelessly ancient. As worshipers, we join in rejoicing over the coming of the messenger “who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’” (Isa. 52:7). We also celebrate “the LORD, for he is coming to judge the earth . . . with righteousness, and . . . equity” (Ps. 98:9). Then a note of immediacy is struck by the focus on what God has done just now, in these “last days,” in which “he has spoken to us by a Son” (Heb. 1:2). The One who was present at Creation, the eternal Word, “became flesh and lived among us” (John 1:14).
• Read Isaiah 52:7-10. Where do you see signs of God’s peace amid the world’s brokenness?
• Read Psalm 98. Where in your life has a new beginning come most startlingly from an ending?
• Read Hebrews 1:1-12. When you next celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion, re ect on how God has brought healing to your life.
• Read Luke 2:22-40. When have you been surprised by an inbreaking of God’s extraordinary love in an ordinary moment?
Responda publicando una oración.