Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Isaiah 40, George Frederick Handel, and the Good Shepherd
I love Isaiah 40. I really do. So, when I saw that today’s daily lectionary reading was from that chapter, I rejoiced! What a wonderful set of verses from Isaiah.
This doesn’t always happen to me, but it did tonight as I read verses 9 to 11. As I went through the passage, I immediately, vividly heard arias from “The Messiah” in my head. One of my all-time favorite Baroque oratorios, by George Frederick Handel. I prefer the contralto aria “O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion” to the aria “He shall feed His flock.” But, that’s just me. Both lovely pieces of music. From a simply gorgeous oratorio.
But, I’m not here to gush over Handel and “The Messiah.” (Even though I could.) I wanted to talk about how verse 11 struck me as encouraging. Caring. Comforting. Even, maternal. I know that, sometimes, stuff happens. Life happens. Horrible, incredibly sad, terribly frightening things happen. But even though stuff happens, I recognize that God is right there with us, going through it all, at our sides.
It may not seem fair. Sometimes, the last things in the world that comes to mind are fair play, decency, honesty, and even-handedness. It just ain’t happening.
But, God is there, through it all. I suspect shepherds were (maybe still are) used to leading their sheep and lambs through some pretty dangerous stuff. Even simply being—surviving—can strain a person’s resiliency. That’s one reason why God has us humans interrelate: as an encouragement and support to each other.
So, God. I am asking: could You hold me gently in Your arm for a while? I am particularly tired. And discouraged. Thanks for understanding. You’re the best. (Really and truly!)
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