2nd Sunday of Advent

Author: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum

Isaiah 40: 1-11

Reflection: v. 2, ‘she has served her term… her penalty is paid’

‘You are prisoners no more. Your time for freedom is now,’ is written in the margins of my bible next to this passage. I am fairly certain my co-worker and fellow pastor borrowed my bible one day and scribbled these lines as the makings of a song-response for some worship service. While I no longer remember the occasion for the song, this interpretation strikes me anew in its simple truthfulness. In this particular passage the voice of God through the prophet Isaiah declares freedom for a seemingly forgotten people in exile. God speaks to God’s children banished and home-less in a land not their own. God looks upon those poor exiled ones and speaks words of consolation and liberation. At the core and the crux of our biblical text is this bold and comforting notion that God desires freedom for God’s people—for all of us, but also particularly for the oppressed and marginalized. As followers of this audaciously loving and liberating God, we should also be compelled to want freedom for one another. God does not want God’s people locked in the cycles of broken, unjust prison systems. God does not want God’s people trapped by the ugly snares of racism and bigotry. God does not want God’s people caught in the endless jumping-through hoops of systemic poverty. God does not want God’s people ripped from their mothers’ arms to be caged, lost, and forgotten. God wants God’s people to be free. May our actions and voices cry ‘freedom’ alongside the God we follow.

Prayer Liberating God, come to release your captives and guide us, your people, to work for the freedom of others.