God’s promise of hope [bible/reflection]

A Guided Reflection on Isaiah

Find a quiet place (or put on headphones!) and a comfortable position to sit.   If you’re pushed for time, set your alarm for 2 minutes before your deadline so that you won’t have to keep checking. Take a moment to relax, pay attention to your breathing, and put aside your preoccupations – if that’s hard, picture yourself asking God to hold them for you for the next few minutes.  Ask for the help of the Holy Spirit in bringing God’s word alive for you today. Read the passage below through slowly and prayerfully. 

If a word or a phrase particularly strikes you, pause there and savour it.
Speak to God about it. 
Does it help you, or puzzle you? 
Remind you of something you have long known or bring a new thought?  

“How beautiful upon the mountains
   are the feet of the messenger who announces peace,
who brings good news,
   who announces salvation,
   who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’
Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices,
   together they sing for joy;
for in plain sight they see
   the return of the Lord to Zion.
Break forth together into singing,
   you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the Lord has comforted his people,
   he has redeemed Jerusalem.
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.”
Isaiah 52:7-10 

When you have finished reading the passage, what stays in your mind? 
Is there a thought that you can carry with you through the day? 
Or something that you might like to spend more time thinking through with God?  

Some questions for further reflection:
Has our present crisis changed the way you hear this passage?  If so how?
In what way does having hope for the future impact how we live in the present?  
Who are the ones who help keep hope alive in you?
And who might you be a messenger of good news for?

Reflection by Pat Hawkins
img: http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=57834