Read Isaiah 1-4.

Isaiah, like many of the prophets, begins with words of judgment.  He points out how Israel has not been the kind of people that God called them to be.  It is easy for us to relate to Israel!  Advent is a penitential season, a season in which we recognize our sin and ask for God’s forgiveness.  We recognize our need for a Messiah, and we wait for his coming.  I am comforted by God’s promise of forgiveness in Isaiah 1:18: “Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”  I am challenged by the prophet’s encouragement to live as God’s forgiven people in Isaiah 2:5: “O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!”

– Rebecca Jordan Heys


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