Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
What is the comfort God has for Israel? Her warfare is ended, her iniquity is pardoned, and she has "received double for all her sins" (Isaiah 40:2, ESV). God has proclaimed an end to trials. It is over.
A common theme in literature, poetry, song, and film is the end of a conflict. While we might look forward to a sudden return to "life as normal," in fact, that doesn't happen right away. The conflict has always left wounds to be healed, internal and external turmoil, and usually a big part of society to be rebuilt.
God declares the end of the conflict, a return. But there's a big mess to be cleaned up. What will he do?
As he comes to visit his people, God creates a safe haven. He makes a place of safety to walk. He reveals his glory, in the person and work of Jesus. All flesh will see it (v. 5). God has promised.
In Christ, our warfare is ended. We are still encamped in the rubble of a fallen world. We are still broken by sin and suffering. But the Lord has brought a conclusion. He has broken the power of sin.
Now is the time for healing, as we receive God's grace in Word and Sacrament. Now is the time of restoration. God has brought rest in Jesus.
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