An Advent Journey: When God Became Small — Day Eleven, Second Sunday


 Isaiah 40:1-11, NRSV

Comfort, O comfort my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that she has served her term,
    that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.

Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all people shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
    their constancy is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
    when the breath of theLord blows upon it;
    surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades;
    but the word of our God will stand forever.

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.

I cannot read this passage without hearing Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in my head. Just cannot do it. Talk about divine inspiration — that guy Handel had a direct pipeline, I do believe. 

During this Advent season, I’m asking God to show me glory, to give me a peek at who God is in all that radiant beauty. And more often than not, the glory I find is in the sky. Early or late, the autumn/winter sky is just plain glorious here on the central coast of California.

It’s something to do with the position of the planet in relation to the sun, the angle of the light and how it changes with the seasons. And during these months, the sky is magnificent! 

I’d like to make sure my own, personal ‘planet’ is lined up well with the Son as I continue to occupy this autumn season of my long life, moving ever closer to winter, one day at at time. Because if I can stand in the right place, then maybe some of that glory will shine right through me.

Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Thank you for words like ‘glory,’ Lord, and for what they conjure up in our imaginations. Thank you that you are a God of glory and that you invite us right into that radiance. Shine on me, Lord. And shine through me, too.

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  1. I’m singing with you Diana. I usually play the Messiah in its entirety as I “Christmas” bake. This year I’m making an exception . It’s now…and then. thank you 🙂

  2. Handel’s Messiah is definitely inspired by God, and it inspires me and fills my heart and mind with the eternal truths of God’s Word. It’s a year ’round favorite of mine.

  3. I love this Diana 🙂
    And the sunrise this morning was magnificent – reds and purples – so it’s not just the West Coast. I guess this reminds me that glory can shine through at any stage of life.