The liturgy for Advent 2 includes verses 1-11 in Isaiah Chapter 40. It begins with the prophetic word of comfort for God’s people. There is a glimpse here of God’s tender heart and compassionate care for people.

Isaiah writes that “He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep. (Isaiah 40:10-11)

Jesus later revealed himself as the Good Shepherd who is humble and tender-hearted. Any demonstration of love by a person for another or the compassion we feel for another, provides a hint of the Lord’s love for everyone.

To the mother considering abortion, to the caregiver overwhelmed by caring for a family member, to those working in pregnancy resource centers and in nursing homes, the Lord extends his arms to gather them close to his bosom in love.

Sometimes, we are his arms and his voice to others. We can experience no greater privilege in this life than to serve as one who prepares the way for the Good Shepherd to come into people’s lives. We can do no better service to those we encounter than to proclaim to them repentance and forgiveness of sins in light of Jesus’ love and sacrifice.

Through us, His people, the Lord comforts, feeds, gathers, carries, and gently leads people into his bosom. The Lord is working to gather people and lead them into green pasture.

May we believe that God is greater than any obstacles we see to someone’s salvation and choosing of life. Jesus is present to baptize with the Holy Spirit. Let us stay faithful and regard His patience and desire to save lives now and for eternity. Not one person is outside the reach of his saving embrace.

Written By: The Rev. Craig Stephans