Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Give Comfort to My People

By Melanie Rigney
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1-2)
Sing to the Lord; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day. (Psalms 96:2)
Jesus said to his disciples: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (Matthew 18:12-14)

Lord, help me to give comfort and speak tenderly in Your name to all I encounter today.

There’s always a thread among the Daily Readings, honest. It’s just that some days, it’s harder to find that thread than others. Further, as you likely know from having heard some long, convoluted homilies or sermons in your life, it’s sometimes folly to try to link up all the readings into one message. Conventional wisdom is to focus on the relevance of a single reading to the audience’s lives.

This is one of those other days, those joyous days when the harmony of the readings is so apparent one can’t help but talk about them all.

The God of Isaiah 40 is not an angry, vindictive God. He is a loving, tender God who loves His people and who asks us to do the same, to let the people know they are saved and to comfort them.

The God Jesus speaks of in Matthew 18 is much the same, a God who loves his flock and who goes in search of those who go astray (that would be all of us) and rejoices at our return, whether we were away from His grace for three seconds, three days, three months, three years, or three decades.

That is our God. We are His people. How blessed are we indeed? Why should anything keep us from singing His praise and sharing his Good News non-stop, as the psalmist advises?

Now, stop reading and meditating, and go into the world and do it.

Spend some time today with another lost sheep. Give comfort. 

No comments: