respond-icon1 Earlier in the book of Isaiah we read these words from God recorded by the prophet, ‘… my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed …’ (Isaiah Ch.56 vs.1). How aware are we of God’s closeness ?

read-icon Reading for today – Isaiah Ch.66 vs.1-13 :

crossprepare-icon1 As we reach the end of the book we are given a glimpse of how God’s closeness is revealed for us. What is close is salvation, an act of rescue and deliverance. Biblically, however, salvation is not just from something (sin, death and separation) but also it’s to something (forgiveness, life and a restored relationship with God). Worshipping in the temple had given the Jewish people a good understanding of God, but God is greater than their conceptions of Him (vs.1-2) and it’s when He comforts us with  His intimate presence that we really begin to get to know Him (vs.12-13). For Isaiah there was a time close at hand when the LORD God would be close to him. For us that’s already a reality if we know and trust Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

If you sit down and think about the complexities of the problems besetting the societies in which we live you’ll probably come to the swift conclusion that the notion of solving even some of them appears unlikely. But the central verses in our passage remind us that nothing is too complex for God. Nations aren’t changed overnight – unless the LORD does it (vs.7-8) and we are required to shown an active faith in God that really believes He is capable of anything and everything. A faith that relies on God’s promises (vs.9).

Eugene Petersen in his paraphrase of the Bible, The Message writes John Ch.1 vs.14 like this, ‘… the Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood …’. In what ways are we planning to help reveal God’s closeness to those amongst whom we live and work this Christmas ?