Isaiah 66:10; Luke 13:33b-34
Reflection: The verses cited above are grouped in the lectionary with the familiar words of Luke 2:7 about the Christ Child who is laid in a manger. They show that there is more involved here than what we were probably taught as children.
Isaiah tells us to rejoice with Jerusalem when its people are delivered from captivity in Babylon; the prophet has already told us, in the terrifying verse that is Isaiah 13:6, of the forthcoming destruction of Babylon, “Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand…” And in Luke’s gospel, having been told by some Pharisees that Herod wants to kill him, Jesus foretells his own death in Jerusalem.
What are we to make of this? For me, it is that there were many painful and ugly events connected with the ultimate deliverance of Jerusalem by the Messiah and the redemption of the world by the Resurrection, all of which began when a Christ Child was laid in a manger. Our lives have painful and ugly events as well, yet we should “not lose heart . . . because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16a, 18 (RSV)).
Prayer: Loving God, in Your mercy help me to turn my eyes and mind toward the eternal, unseen things promised by the Savior who began for us as a child laid in a manger.
Bob Hoelscher, Trustee