Thursday of Christmas

Isaiah 52:7-10

How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
    together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
    the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
    you waste places of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people;
    he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
    before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
    the salvation of our God.

A few years ago the state of California was in a critical drought. Its reservoirs were falling to dangerously low levels and much of the state appeared to be burning up or withering. But then, in 2022 something changed in the weather patterns and rains started to fall, and they kept falling. Record snow levels, even a sort of hurricane which drenched the state. Lakes reappeared and there was flooding in Death Valley of all places.

One of the more interesting effects of all this was the effusion of California poppies, a wild flower which has a bright orange blossom. It was a “superbloom” which even the astronauts on the space station were said to be able to see.

Isaiah exhorts the waste places of Jerusalem to break forth in praise of the God who has redeemed and comforted them. I think of that superbloom when I hear Isaiah speak those words. God sent His Son to take up our human nature because He loves this world, in all its beauty. All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

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