Day 27 — Friday, December 24, 2021

On your walls, O Jerusalem,
I have set watchmen;
all the day and all the night
they shall never be silent.
You who put the LORD in remembrance,
take no rest,
and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it a praise in the earth.
The LORD has sworn by his right hand
and by his mighty arm.
“I will not again give your grain
to be food for your enemies,
and foreigners shall not drink your wine
for which you have labored;
but those who garner it shall eat it
and praise the LORD,
and those who gather it shall drink it
in the courts of my sanctuary.”

Go through, go through the gates;
prepare the way for the people;
build up, build up the highway;
clear it of stones;
lift up a signal over the peoples.
Behold, the LORD has proclaimed
to the end of the earth:
Say to the daughter of Zion,
“Behold, your salvation comes;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.”
And they shall be called The Holy People,
The Redeemed of the LORD;
and you shall be called Sought Out,
A City Not Forsaken.
Isaiah 62:6–12

Have you ever visited a building that has been deserted for some time? Once vibrant and full of life, now unkempt and uncared for? An old Disney short, The Old Mill, shows one such story. Set to music, the animals who live inside the abandoned mill are fearful and in danger when a storm comes. My four-year-old son would ask, “Why is that mill broken?” Without care and attention, things naturally fall into disrepair. 

In Isaiah 62, God declares that Jerusalem will no longer be The Forsaken City (v. 4). Israel’s capital city has been under the control of the Babylonians. But God loves Jerusalem and she will be redeemed by her Savior. In fact, watchmen have been posted and called to pray both day and night (v. 6), urging the Lord to complete the promised work (v.7). Although Jerusalem has fallen into disrepair and Israel has been held captive by her enemies, the Redeemer is coming. And in preparation for Him, the people are called to pray faithfully, to go out and prepare the road, so that the people of Israel can return to Jerusalem (v. 10).

Where in your own life with God have things fallen into disrepair? What roads need to be cleared, what banner might be raised, to declare that you are part of The People Redeemed by the Lord? Perhaps your worship, prayer, reading of scripture or devotional life has been neglected lately. Perhaps you have not been actively and intentionally loving your neighbor. Perhaps you have not honored your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps your gifts of intellect, athleticism, or artistic ability have not been offered to God and the world around you. The Redeemer is coming. God will complete His redemptive work. How might you prepare the way before Him? 

Dr. Lindsey Root Luna is an associate professor and the chair of the Department of Psychology at Hope College.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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