by John Matkin on December 05, 2020
January 15, 2021
Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye My People
Dear Dickinson Family and Friends,
Handel’s Messiah begins the same place we begin on the Second Sunday of Advent - at the beginning of Isaiah 40: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.” It’s the beginning of Isaiah’s prophecy that Israel’s time of distress and despair are near an end, and God is sending a messenger in the wilderness to prepare a way for God’s Messiah to the Israelites. Later, early Christians would connect this powerful prophecy with John the Baptist, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming that “one who is more powerful than I” is coming after me. We’ll hear Mark’s account of John the Baptist as part of our worship scripture lessons, too.
This is the second Sunday in the season of Advent where there’s not even a whiff of Christmas - no pregnancy, no census, no journey to Bethlehem, at least not yet. This is a difficult place to be when we’re in the midst of preparing for Christmas in so many ways - Christmas trees, outside lights, nativity scenes, Christmas Cards, Christmas shopping, and wrapping, wrapping, wrapping!
Maybe the absence of Christmas will help us focus on what actually IS present - the idea of God’s coming comfort, the idea of preparing a way for that comfort, and the idea that true comfort includes true repentance.
Join us in-person and on-line for worship this coming Sunday, and get a better sense of the relevance of preparation and repentance for us, even today.