Isaiah 40 verses 1, 9-11:
Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
You who bring good news to Zion,
go up high on a mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’
See the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm…
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.
I hope as you read this that you will have had a happy and blessed time at Christmas, sharing the season of goodwill with family and friends.
However, I know that many in our church family and local community have found the last few weeks of 2018 a hard, difficult and sad time. Many have struggled with illness and with loss. The news has been full of uncertainty and daily reminders of humankind’s falling short of God’s plans for us.
At times like these, I’m glad that I have a Father in heaven who understands my pain: that he sent his Son to live amongst us a child and an adult to fully experience life in all its ups and downs; that somehow, despite everything he is alongside me sharing and guiding.
I hope that the image that Isaiah paints of the shepherd holding the lambs close to his heart brings some comfort to all of us. What a lovely picture of a loving, tender parent who cares deeply for us and wants to hold us close. As we face the uncertainties of 2019, I hope we can all hold on to the thought that we are being carried close to God’s heart and he will gently lead us in the weeks and months that lie ahead.
With love and best wishes