For Sunday, December 9, 2001

Sunday, December 9, 2001

Isaiah 40:11

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Some scholars divide the book of Isaiah into three parts. The second part of Isaiah is made up of chapters forty through fifty-five. These chapters present an eloquent expression of an ecstasy of joy and a glow of hope. The black night of exile has ended, morning is breaking and Israel will be delivered and redeemed. This deliverance will only come via the intervention of God. We are also told how God shall guide the exiles. He shall feed his flock, carry the lambs in his bosom and protect those yet to be born.

What a beautiful portrait of the loving and welcoming arms of God! These magnificent words have been the inspiration for authors, musicians, ministers and just plain folks to give praise to God down through the ages. Handel's "Messiah" contains these words. Caroline Miller used "Lamb In His Bosom" for the title of her Pulitzer Prize winning novel in 1935.

Perhaps if we take time to truly reflect on the all encompassing love of God, we may have a better understanding of the epitome of incarnation - the union of divinity and humanity in Jesus Christ.

During this holy and divine season of Advent, we are making preparations to celebrate the earthly beginning of that miraculous incarnation, the birth of our Savior. As a nation and as individuals, we make these preparations with broken hearts and devastating grief which war inevitably brings. As we go through our mourning period, may there be times when we allow ourselves to be completely enveloped by the loving arms of God so he may carry us in his bosom which will bring us closer to his heart and closer to his son.

Prayer: O, God, please let us experience the comfort and joy of being held in your arms and personally knowing your son.

Doci Haslam