All Years, Christmas Day II, Old Testament Lesson
Church in Minnesota
Isaiah 62: 6-7,
|Upon your walls, O Jerusalem,
all day and all night
shall never be silent.
You who remind the LORD,
and give him no rest
he establishes Jerusalem
makes it renowned throughout the earth.
Go through, go through the gates,
the way for the people;
build up, build up the highway,
it of stones,
up an ensign over the peoples.
|The LORD has proclaimed
the end of the earth:
Say to daughter Zion,
your salvation comes;
his reward is with him,
his recompense before him."
They shall be called, "The Holy
Redeemed of the LORD";
and you shall be called, "Sought
Reflection on Isaiah 62: 6-7, 10-12:
by the Rev John Gibbs
What we look for at dawn's early light tells who we are, and to whom
(or what) we belong. "At dawn's early light" some of us search for "the
glory of the Lord" that shines always around shepherds (that is, ministers
of the Gospel) "keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8). Remember:
Bonhoeffer, Niemuller, Martin Luther King, Jr. What carries us from
midnight to dawn is prophetic hope, hope that God will "prepare the way
for the people" (Is. 62:10) and make them God's own. "See, your salvation
comes" (Is. 62:11) – that is the message of Christmas dawn. It is the ancient
message of "Shalom," restoration of relationships to health and wholeness,
return from darkness to the new dawn of our "goodness" as being "fit" (Hebrew
tob, Gen. 1) and ready to serve God's purpose.
When our salvation comes, it is not a private matter but a public one:
"and you shall be called 'Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken'" (62:12). However
indictable or impeachable the darkness within you or me may be, the whole
community is sought out by God, and not forsaken. "The Holy People" (62:12)
are "not afraid" at God's near approach, for they see what this God does:
"I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people" (Lk. 2:10).
At dawn's early light on Christmas Day we do not strain to see a cemetery
monument that will proclaim our good deeds or our righteousness (Ps. 97:11-12).
First light of Christmas discloses only this much about us, and that is
gift more than enough: "Sought Out, A City Not Forsaken." Especially on
this day "the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared"
John G. Gibbs, PhD, a retired theologian, attends Trinity Episcopal Church, Park
Rapids, MN. He originally wrote this reflection in 1998.
He and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional
reflections to John Gibbs or any MEESC
member, or mail them to:
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA
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