“Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.”Isaiah 40:1
Much like the people in the passage from Isaiah, we too are in a form of exile during the pandemic. We are in the wildness and we eagerly await a time when comfort will come and when the exile will be over. We await the one John “the forerunner” spoke of who brings peace, comfort, and salvation.
And so, the promise of Isaiah is good news to us today, because our world is in desperate need of some comfort, in desperate need of some good news. The holiday season is already a challenging time for people who are suffering pain or loss. From mid-November till the New year, the focus on family leaves those who are grieving the loss of loved ones or broken relationships, struggling to put a smile on their face and attempting to pretend to be in the holiday spirit, all the while they are barely making it one day at a time.
May we be both gentile and honest with one another, striving to provide comfort and peace during this season of anticipation and waiting. It is my prayer that this Advent season, and the holiday season in general, will be one of reflection, comfort, and grace as we continue to navigate these waters together. For as the Gospel of Mark tells us, this is “the beginning of the good news.”