We often reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on November 2, 2013.
Prayer: Comfort your people, God. Speak tenderly to us when we cry out to you. Amen
Reading: Isaiah 40: 1-5 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: When I was in college, I caught a broadcast on television right after Thanksgiving called "Handel's Young Messiah." Basically, it was a modern version of Handel's great oratorio complete with drums and keyboard synthesizers. I enjoyed the show and went out and bought the record album a few weeks later.
Since then, I have greatly enjoyed Handel's Messiah in any form. I have several recordings of the work, including more modern renditions. How can one not enjoy a rousing chorus of the "Hallelujah Chorus!"
Two years after I watched that show on television, I had the opportunity to participate in a "Messiah Sing-A-Long." The audience got to sing the choruses of Handel's great work and soloists provided some of the singing. It was a great event.
Handel based his "Messiah" on several biblical passages. In this first one, Isaiah is telling us what God has said: Comfort my people and make way for the Lord's coming. He is foretelling of Jesus Christ's birth. The glory of the Lord will appear for all to see, just as God has promised.
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