..Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flame by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy and a pavilion. It will be a shade by day from the heat, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and the rain” (Isaiah 4:5-6)
Isaiah Rewound: A Daily Office Reflection for Saturday in the First Week of Advent
Today’s lesson from Isaiah offers a vision of hopefulness in the midst of the oracles of judgment. The picture the prophet paints in 4:1-4 is that of a new beginning for the covenant people. Having been purged through an ordeal of decimation and despair, those who remain, begin again. Isaiah calls them “the branch of the Lord, beautiful and glorious.”
Then Isaiah sees images reminiscent of the wandering of Israel during the Exodus. The “glory” of the Lord, in fire and cloud, will once again hover over the sacred mountain. The Temple will once again be a place where true worship will be offered. Isaiah is certain there will be a new beginning.
But a new beginning is not to be confused with a happy ending.
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