Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Readings from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah are familiar companions on our Advent and Christmas journey, made even more famous by their inclusion in Handel’s great musical epic Messiah, first performed in Dublin in 1742. As we approach the Advent season a portion of this Scripture is playing in my mind “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is ended and her guilt is expiated.” (Isaiah 40:1-2).
Written toward the end of the Babylonian exile, these words were balm for a people in dire need of comfort. They had suffered the pain and ignominy of exile, with no guarantee of when, or if, they would be restored to their own homeland. And here is their God, promising them that their time of suffering is at an end, that He will care for His people as a shepherd cares for His flock. (Isaiah 40:9) This Advent, God offers this same hope and comfort to His people, as He has throughout the course of history. In the face of conflict and pain in our world, our nation, our homes, and our hearts, God is going to give us His Son, the Prince of Peace.
Our Advent theme this year at Carmel Mission is “Comfort Oh My People.” As it must have been for the Israelites in exile, it is easy to become discouraged and jaded by the suffering of our wounded world, and our own personal pain. But despite our human failings, God’s love is so great, and His merciful compassion so overwhelming, that He again speaks comfort to us. His Son, the light that the darkness cannot overcome, is coming into our world, with the power to change it. Isaiah’s words live on today, but I believe it is our Advent call to also be God’s oracles in this age. To share the words of Isaiah and the Prophets, to share the Good News of the Gospel, and to share how our God lifts us up personally in our everyday life. As we prepare to welcome our Savior, I invite you to join me, and our entire community, in this vital witness.
I wish you and your loved ones Advent blessings of good health, new hope, and great anticipation,
Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.