by the Reverend Sally S. Weaver
by the Reverend Dr. Warren Crews
The opening words of Isaiah, chapter 40, in today’s lesson from the Hebrew scriptures tell of a conversation in the heavenly council about how miserable the Hebrew people are living in exile in Babylon as a punishment for their sins. God suddenly announces Israel has been punished enough. It is time to restore Israel.
God’s opening words to the council, “Comfort, o comfort, my people” has been immortalized by Handel’s Messiah. In chapter 40, three different members of the heavenly council respond to God. The first one commands the construction of a great highway in the wilderness in which every valley shall be lifted up and every mountain and hill made low, and the rough places made plain. He is imagining a new direct road between Babylon and Jerusalem, as opposed to the very long northern detour around the great Syrian desert wilderness.
Various members of the St. John's congregation contribute to this blog. For editorial suggestions, contact Jeff McIntire-Strasburg at firstname.lastname@example.org