“Home. The very word evokes feelings of love and laughter, security and serenity, warmth and welcome. It means mom and dad, fun and games, good food and deep sleep. ‘Home, home on the range.’ ‘When Johnny comes marching home.’ However, a little girl from Kansas named Dorothy said it best, ‘There’s no place like home.’”
These words from Rev. Dr. Reed Lessing’s introduction to his commentary on Isaiah, are followed by a description of the traumatic and destabilizing effect of being ripped from home and carried off into captivity experienced by God’s Old Testament people when the Assyrians destroyed the northern ten tribes of Israel (ca. 722 BC) and the Babylonians captured the remaining two southern tribes (586 BC).
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Isaiah spoke some of the most powerful and often quoted promises in the whole Bible. Isaiah will be our guide this Advent and Christmas season as we long for home, experiencing the real presence of God now through faith in Jesus and forever when Jesus comes again in glory.
November 27 – Walk in the Light As the world spins in turmoil all around us Isaiah lifts our eyes to see beyond the horizon when Jesus will come again in glory and establish our home with God permanently. In the meantime we will “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5) as we come into God’s house for worship where he will teach us his ways.
December 4 – Home Safe and Sound are the words you wait to hear when family travels, especially during the holidays. Isaiah peers into the future and foresees the day when all who believe and trust in the “shoot from the stump of Jesse” — namely Jesus — will arrive home safe and sound. All of the brokenness and hostility of this fallen world will be no more and we will rest secure.
December 11 – The Highway to Heaven “Country Roads, Take me Home, To the place I belong” – crooned singer and songwriter, John Denver. Isaiah wrote that there is a highway called “The Way of Holiness” (Isaiah 35:8) that leads us home to God. It is a Way through the wilderness that springs to life. On that road “the ransomed of the Lord shall return to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:9-10). Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6).
December 18 – The Sign As We Gather – Signs are markers on the road that keep us going in the right direction. It’s easy to get lost in this fallen, broken, mess of a world. God came to King Ahaz through the prophet Isaiah and said, “Ask for a sign.” But Ahaz was too proud and full of himself and rejected God’s Word. God, however, was not deterred and a virgin did conceive and gave birth to a Son and he was called “Immanuel” which means “God with us.” Jesus is the ultimate sign of God’s love for us. He is “God with us.”
December 24 – A Child is Born The moment we’ve been waiting for is upon us. Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet delivers the birth announcement seven hundred years before the event. “For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). The way home to God is open through Jesus. The promise of peace and joy is our already by faith in Him until he comes again in glory to make it permanent once and for all.
December 25 – The Redeemed “It is finished,” Jesus said from the cross. Today, our salvation has come. The way home has been prepared. By faith in Christ, his birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, sending the Holy Spirit, and promised coming again we, we are now called “The Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord” (Isaiah 62:12).
January 1 – Remember His Steadfast Love In Jesus God always deals with us according to his steadfast love rather than our continuous rebellion. Now every time we remember His mighty acts of salvation we are lifted up and given rest for our weary souls. The Spirit of the Lord is upon us leading us ever onward toward home in His presence forever.