“Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 40:1-5 (NRSV)
‘Twas the season of Advent and all through the town,
Was the hustle and bustle of people running around.
They were spending their money. Oh, the stress that that brings.
They were rushing and worrying about all kinds of things.
Would they have enough presents? Were their selections the best?
Would they finish their shopping? Would they ever get rest?
But at that little church, the one all painted white,
The people joined together to light the first advent light.
A candle of hope, they said it would be.
And they sang a sweet song to share their excitement and glee.
The scripture they read during worship that day,
Spoke about hope and following God’s way.
Comfort, O comfort my people it said,
Like the comfort of a warm cozy bed.
But how are we to comfort the people we meet,
When we simply rush by them on the street?
The answer to that question, my friends,
Comes from that on which Advent depends.
It’s all about patience,, and waiting, and grace.
A gift that we learn about more in this place.
It’s not about shopping and rushing around,
But instead about connecting to that which we’re bound.
As Christians and people of faith, it does seem
That Jesus is where we should focus our stream.
So back to that scripture from Isaiah once more,
That we might find a glimpse of what we are searching for.
It says that the people walked in darkness, that day,
And they had a hard time finding their way.
Now though that was a long time from now,
I think we still struggle with darkness somehow.
But as Isaiah told the people that day,
it was important for them to prepare the way.
And the same is true for you and I, friends,
We must find a way to straighten the bends.
To make even the everyday road that we walk,
And to be careful about our words when we talk.
Because if hope is what we are truly searching for,
I think we need to do a little bit more.
To “make even” the valleys and mountains they say,
And to be sure that everyone has a safe place to pray.
As Jesus taught us long ago,
The hope that we search for is all aglow
When we focus on our faith and doing what’s right,
When we do our best to love and not to fight.
Friends, this Advent, we wait for the child to be born
And we celebrate that birth on Christmas morn.
But that is not where the story ends;
It’s only the beginning, my faithful friends.
For the baby born in the manger grows to be a man
Who heals and teaches us all that he can.
But it’s up to us to do our part,
And to carry his love with us in our heart.
For the candle of hope that we light today
Shines brighter and brighter when we give it away.
Not in fancy presents or in a box with a bow,
But by sharing the story that all Christians know.
The story of Mother Mary so mild,
And the journey she took, and the birth of her child,
The one that would change the world as we know
And would offer hope to the people below.
A story of hope, and of peace, and of love.
A story that is shared with us from above.
So, brothers and sisters in Christ, as you go,
May your hearts be filled with the story you know
Of a small little baby and a hope that’s so grand
That it changes the way we live in this land.
Find comfort in small things, my friends, is the plan,
And straighten your path sharing all that you can.
I pray that your journey through Advent will hold
An abundance of hope for all to behold.
So, may it be so, for women, children, and men,
Thanks be to God! Can I get an “Amen?”