Thursday, March 10, 2011

40-day Bible-reading Challenge: Day 2

"Zion, herald of good news,
go up on a high mountain.
Jerusalem, herald of good news,
raise your voice loudly.
Raise it, do not be afraid!
Say to the cities of Judah,
'Here is your God!'
The LORD God comes with strength,
and His power establishes His rule.
His reward is with Him,
and His gifts accompany Him.
He protects His flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them in the fold of His garment.
He gently leads those that are nursing."
~~ Isaiah 40:9-11, HCSB ~~



Yesterday, I didn't take as much time to let the words soak in. Today I want to do more of that before blogging my thoughts. But I did want to share today's passage. I'm going to read it again before bed tonight and do some journaling. Will add some of those resulting thoughts tomorrow. =)

For now... let me leave you with lyrics from a hymn that this passage reminded me of:

"Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us"

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care; in Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare: blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou has bought us, Thine we are; blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou has bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine; do Thou befriend us, be the guardian of our way; keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray: Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, hear, O hear us when we ptray; blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be; Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse, and pow'r to free: blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, early let us turn to Thee; blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, early let us turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will; blessed Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our beings fill: blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast loved us, love us still; blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Words by Dorothy A. Thrupp (1779–1847). Published in Hymns for the Young, 1836.

40-Day Bible-reading Challenge: Day 1

"A voice of one crying out:
Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness;
make a straight highway for our God in the desert.
Every valley will be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill will be leveled;
the uneven ground will become smooth
and the rough places, a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will appear,
and all humanity together will see it,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

~ Isaiah 40:3-5, HCSB ~



When I've read this passage before, I've read it through the lens of what Jesus did and what He will do when He returns: that He would be the one filling in the valleys and bringing down all the heights. But what if there's another way to read those sentences?

Prepare and make -- those are commands. To whom? Who is the voice who cries out? Isn't this a foreshadowing of John the Baptist?

Perhaps the passage speaks of His coming again, when He will set His feet upon Jerusalem, trembling the earth.

So... what sort of way are we to be preparing? Is it in our own hearts?

I have to ponder on this some more.