Advent 2018 – Day Twelve – Can’t you hear my heartbeat?
Today’s song is Can’t you hear my heart beat by Herman’s Hermits. It is a love song of its time but the reason for my choice will hopefully become apparant as you read today’s reflection…
When I feel you put your arms around me
Baby, baby, can’t you hear my heartbeat?
Then I’m glad, I’m mighty glad I found you
Baby, baby, can’t you hear my heartbeat?
In our passage today we hear Isaiah shout a cry of disbelief as God calls him to comfort his people despite the difficulties that they are in. He compares us to grass that withers and is gone so how can this be true but God assures Isaiah and us of his comfort.
I think it is interesting to note that the voice cries out in the wilderness. The wilderness is a hostile place where conditions are harsh, and life is hard.
We mistakenly think that we need to go into the wilderness to find God. The truth is that we are so often already in the wilderness ourselves in terms of our spirituality or where our hearts priorities lie. So it is into our wilderness that the Lord comes to comfort us. We do not need to search for God he has come to us as a shepherd to gently hold us close to his heart.
Advent is a time when we express our longing for the day that Jesus will come to give us his comfort.
We don’t want to wait for the valleys to be raised up, the mountains and hills made low; the rough ground made level, the rugged places made into a plain. That sounds like it is going to take a very very long time!
We will read tomorrow of the man named John who is the fulfilment of this prophecy of Isaiah.
The waiting is nearly over our comforter is near. Hallelujah!
Isaiah 40:1-11 New International Version – UK
Comfort for God’s people
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’
A voice says, ‘Cry out.’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
‘All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures for ever.’
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, ‘Here is your God!’ See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Prayers and Reflection
Hymn: Singing the Faith 286 – What kind of love is this
“he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart”.
Let us pray together.
Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,
Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,
Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.
Listen for God’s voice in the quiet of your prayers.
Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.
Loving God, may I be so close to you today that I can feel your heartbeat. Amen.
Lord, as we prepare for your coming may we know the comfort that only you can bring. In our wilderness times you hold us tight and lead us and give us blessing upon blessing. Lord, in this Advent time, help us to be ready to hear the voices which cry out to us your Good News. Amen.
Lord, at this Advent time we lift up our hearts and voices in prayer and praise to you.
Let this season be a time to reflect with awe and wonder on your coming into the world as a new born baby.
Purify our hearts and lives and help us be voices which cry out the Good News of your coming. May we serve as your messengers not only in this season of Advent but every day of our lives, in your all powerful name we pray. Amen
Father God, how awesome it is to think that you carry us close to your heart and in good times and not so good you lead us to quiet waters which feed our very souls. Amen.