After a long time of exile in Babylon, Israel returns to the promised land. As the period of slavery ends, they return to a land that hand been laid to waste. Free yes, but coming home to ruins. Yet free always trumps slave.
Isaiah spoke into this situation with words of hope, with words of a brighter future, with words to restore the people. But for the people, the prophecies seemed to eventually just become words. Cities were still in ruins, life was still really hard.
Hundreds of years later Jesus comes along, reads from the scroll of Isaiah, and announces that the prophecy is no fulfilled. Jesus did indeed preach the good news, heal the broken, bring life to the dead, share comfort with the suffering, and lead people from darkness. He continues to bring all of these things to our world – just now it is through people like you and me, through his disciples.
In this holy season of Advent there are plenty of opportunities to share the Good News, to help others in need, to bring comfort and peace. If we seek places and ways to bring Christ into this Christmas season, God is faithful and He will provide ways for us to be the hands and feet of Christ in our world. Keep awake and alert. Be prepared and willing. With open eyes and loving hearts, be who we are called to be for our broken and needy world.
Scripture reference: Isaiah 61: 1-4