Joy of the Redeemed
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God.
3 Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, 10 and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Reading the passage. Reflect on a verse that speaks to you. Read the passage again but in a different translation.
For those at morning service yesterday V 5 and 6 of this page have a link with what Jesus told John the Baptist’s disciples to tell John in Matthew 11 v 5 – “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.”
If you want to dig deeper, I would recommend Isaiah for Everyone by John Goldingay.
This is a passage of hope, water bursting forth in the dessert.
As we walk the way of hope, let us reflect on how we can serve Jesus by serving others and be an encourager like Barnabas.
Last night David reminded us that Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on a donkey. He came in peace. A different type of King. He was born in a stable, a refugee in Egypt.
Thought for day – How can I bring hope to those I meet this week? How can I bring Justice to the poor?
Thank you - I would like to thank those who run the food bank, support new hope, help refugees, give advice at Citzens Advice, support Christians against poverty, Dave Luddington and others bringing help in Albania after the Earthquake.
Prayer (based on a prayer by Richard Foster)
O Lord hear the cry of the defenceless,
The men who are defeated by life.
The children who have no food to eat.
The homeless who have no place to sleep.
The prisoners who have no one who cares.
The women who are beaten and abused.
The elderly who are shoved aside.
Hear their cry.
Lord help me to care and bring hope.