Isaiah’s 40th chapter spoke to people who were losing hope about their future: those Israelites who had been exiled to Babylon and scattered across the ancient near east. After the exiles had lived in a foreign land for several decades, they certainly must have wondered if they would ever see their homeland again. And I would imagine there were plenty of nay-sayers telling them to give up all hope of a return to the good old days.
But Isaiah said there was hope. Not only would they return to their homeland, but God would make a level highway in the wilderness upon which they could travel. The low spots would be raised and the high spots brought lower and the highway would be smoothed out for its travelers. In other words, not only would they be going home, but the path would be easy. Later in the same chapter, Isaiah noted that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They would fly and run and walk and not be tired or weary. Isaiah was good at infusing hope in people who were weary of hoping.
I’m a bit weary. Like all of you I’ve been hoping this season of adjusting to the Coronavirus will quickly end. Like all of you I’ve been hoping the people I know who contract the virus will be quickly healed. And like all of you, I want to be able to feel safe when I’m out and about. But it’s been several months now and my hope for a quick end to our situation is wearing thin. I need to hear Isaiah’s words and be reminded that God is working for the good of our future and that those who hope and wait on the Lord will be renewed. Today, I hope that Isaiah’s words will keep you hoping and waiting and that somehow you’ll be renewed by God’s presence with you and in you.
If you haven’t checked out the video that Alicia Baumer and Katelyn Sanders compiled to remember our 125 years as a church, you can find the link to the video on our home page or on our Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roBkiYCUveM&feature=emb_logo It’s worth the watch.
Ted Roeser needs a few more volunteers to complete our Meals on Wheels deliveries the week of July 20-24. The task involves making 10-12 deliveries in Friendswood around noon, each of those days. If you could help, let Ted know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org . Meals on Wheels provides hot meals to residents who are unable to get out of their homes and is an important ministry that we carry out along with several other churches in our area. We’re thankful for Ted’s work to organize and lead our effort.
Stay connected. Wash your hands. Love your neighbor. And by the power of God’s Spirit, may your hope blossom into renewal and strength.