The first reading (Isaiah 40:1-11) still comes from Isaiah and many of us shall recognise the opening of today’s reading from Handel’s Messiah: ‘Console my people, console them’ although Handel uses another translation, ‘Comfort ye my people.’
The passage goes on to use the other great saying which is used in the New Testament, “Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord, make a straight highway for our God, let every valley be filled in.’ No one who has heard Handel’s Messiah can read these lines without hearing them in their head as sung in that great choral work.
Advent is all about getting ready, about allowing our soul to feel the desire that is inside us all for the love of God. We also know deep inside that we need a saviour. This is something that humanity cannot stray from, the desire and need for a saviour. It is built into our DNA, it lets us know our need of God and the more we realize and understand this need the more we delight in the coming of Jesus.
The response to the psalm in today’s readings, sums this up: ‘Here is our God coming with power.’
To be a saviour, our God has to come with power. In our hearts we know this about Jesus: he is the one of power, not because he is mighty and warlike but because he is Truth. Deep in the heart of every person, we all know that Truth is the most powerful thing of all