Hope in Exile

Bible Reading: Isaiah 52:1-10
Author: Cindy Love (Texas, USA)
Sunday 1 December 2013 © The Upper Room.

I could not bring myself to say, ‘Merry Christmas’. I knew my friend’s Christmas would be overshadowed by concern for her child.

As we sang ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’, about Israel’s mourning in exile and crying out to the Lord for deliverance, I was reminded of my friend and her child. Each was held captive in ‘lonely exile’ from the joy of the Christmas season.

I also thought that while the Church marches through Advent in a month, our personal journeys through Advent may take much longer.

When we have a difficult child, a dying spouse, a bout of depression, a crushing disease, a failing marriage, a loss of income or another seismic shift in our lives, we, like Israel, mourn ‘in lonely exile’, crying out for the Son of God to appear in our lives.

Looking back over unhappy times in my own life, I wondered, Is crying out for the Lord a cry of despair or a cry of hope?

Instinctively, I have known that I could not give up hope. Hope carries me through the weeks, months or years of ‘lonely exile’ and into the peace, love and joy promised in Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Dear God, grant us courage to hope and to persevere through bleak times in our lives so that we may know the joy you offer. Amen

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Fantastic! I’m so thrilled by God’s goodness that He has brought about such a wonderful way of communicating His love and Gospel to Deaf people. I’m convinced God will use it to His glory and that it will be an effective means of nurturing Deaf Christians for whom church and the Bible is often difficult. You can be assured of my prayers in asking our Father to use these means to reach Deaf people who would never dream of entering a church building. KS