"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Comfort for the Crooked

Each year we have a wonderful Christmas tradition:  we listen to Handel's Messiah.

Written in 1741, and taken from directly from Scripture, this piece of music is a masterpiece and profoundly moving.  This year one line seemed to jump out at me and sing itself deep into my soul.  One line repeated, and repeated-- filled my insides with hope and longing.   For days now it has been playing and replaying in my mind.  Would you take a minute to listen---this is only a small snip-it...


The crooked straight and the rough places plain.

Broken.  This world, our world,  is crooked and misshapen.  His People are dirty and messed up.  We are broken and twisted.   Sometimes we think very wrongly and we act very badly.  Our world.  You.

...and me.

God certainly knows this!

But, gentle words of comfort filled my soul this morning as I opened Scripture.  "Comfort!  Be comforted, my people", says God (Isaiah 40)  Tender, gentle words pour forth from the Living Word, "Speak to my people and tell her that her sins have been paid for!"  

Her sins have been paid for...  

"And every valley shall be raised up.  Every crooked place shall be made straight.  Every rough place shall be made smooth".

The crooked straight and the rough places plain.

Planned from the beginning, this babe---my sweet Jesus---was born into our crooked world.  He came on purpose, prophesied in Isaiah.  He took on our flesh and made His dwelling among us.  He walked our paths and felt our pain.

And, He will make all things new!  He is making all things new.  He is straightening our world.  He is straightening you.

He is making me straight.  Crooked-me is being straightened.  Low valley-Stephanie has been and is being raised up!  Rough-me is being smoothed.  ...by His hand.

In this I find deep comfort and hope--- just as He said I would in Isaiah 40.

Welcome to our world, Jesus!  Welcome to our broken and crooked world!
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