Isaiah 35:5-10 (CEB)

Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
    and the ears of the deaf will be cleared.
Then the lame will leap like the deer,
    and the tongue of the speechless will sing.
Waters will spring up in the desert,
    and streams in the wilderness.
The burning sand will become a pool,
    and the thirsty ground, fountains of water.
The jackals’ habitat, a pasture;
    grass will become reeds and rushes.
A highway will be there.
    It will be called The Holy Way.
The unclean won’t travel on it,
    but it will be for those walking on that way.
Even fools won’t get lost on it;
    no lion will be there,
    and no predator will go up on it.
None of these will be there;
    only the redeemed will walk on it.
10 The Lord’s ransomed ones will return and enter Zion with singing,
    with everlasting joy upon their heads.
Happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
    grief and groaning will flee away.


I love the book of Isaiah, which speaks about justice, change, God’s coming and of the hope for restoration. It is a book integral to God’s chosen people that reminds us that our Lord is coming to save the day and show us the way! Even if we fear we may miss that path known as the “Holy Way,” as the prophet reminds us, “even fools won’t get lost on it.”

Christians like to read from the book of Isaiah – particularly for this time of year. Although this particular passage does not foretell the coming of the Messiah (see Isaiah 7:14 for that verse), it does help us to envision a time of restoration. It is comforting to remember a time when the “eyes of the blind” or “ears of the deaf” will be cleared. It is reassuring to know that when we are hurting, overrun by evil, lost, or just disconnected from what is right, one day our world will be made whole and the way will be made clear. One day, we will be singing with joy. There is still hope.

It’s the hope of Christmas that helps us to sing with joy. Christmas is that time of year that reminds us of the hope of restoration. Perhaps -even among those who are not believers- the wonder of Christmas is that it offers hope to a suffering world down through the ages. It is the hope that one day the world, our world, will be restored to wholeness. Perhaps it is this hope that is the true miracle of Christmas.

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

Whether you are feeling loss or loved (or a little of both) this Christmas, how do you define the universal hope that is found through Christmastime? How does such hope confirm your faith?

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the wonder of Christmas. Thank you for the hope that is your son, Jesus. May we remember to sing out in praise for the coming of our Lord. Amen.