Monday 14 December 2020

Bible Book:

'In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.' (v. 3)

Isaiah 40:1-11 Monday 14 December 2020

Psalm 38:1-8


Trying to make sense of Scripture has many pitfalls. Let's visualise the time in which these words from Isaiah were written. The people had been persecuted. They had been exiled and the prophet Isaiah speaks of rescue. At the time the idea of the Lord coming to enable that rescue would necessitate navigating a route to the people and bringing them out. Evacuation would be on foot, camel or horseback. A road would be needed to traverse the wilderness, cross the desert, up-hill and down dale. The straighter the road, the better. The image Isaiah created was immediate and pertinent to the people.

 If we simply picture it literally today, that image makes little sense – unless we actually feel trapped and oppressed and we are only going to be released when, and if HS2 is built! Yes, I’m being facetious. But let's take this a little further. The biblical language made sense in its original context but how people feel trapped is different today for most of us in this country. Reading the Bible depends not only on the context of its writing, but where and when we read it.

 So let's go back to basics. The scripture reading speaks of release brought about by a King-like Lord – our God – who will come and physically release the people from oppression. Ultimately a kingdom will be established in which people are well treated.

If we read this metaphorically, instead of literally, we are looking at the establishment of the ‘kingdom of God'. When I first trained as a local preacher I was taught that this ‘kingdom’ is not a literal place, but a way of living, in which we are held in love by grace so we are safe and secure.

To move from the situation in which we find ourselves requires movement, travel. The question that this raises is, what do we need to do today to prepare, not for the coming of a king, but for a time, place and way of living together where we see Christ in each other and represent Christ to each other? That is some road-building project! Preparing to love each other better, to love each other more: where and how do we begin?

To Ponder: 

  • How do we picture the kingdom of God today?
  • How can we work in society to enable where we live to become a better place?
Previous Page Sunday 13 December 2020
Next Page Tuesday 15 December 2020