Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her
that she has served her term … (Isaiah 40:1-2a)

Today, the word is comfort.

A sharp wind cuts through my coat as I shuffle one foot to the other on the oil-stained concrete, impatient for the tank to fill so I can return to the comfort of the car.

Winter stretches long before us, and small comforts beckon—a warm drink, lamplight on a familiar chair, a few precious moments of peace.

Each small grace points beyond itself to deeper things. For comfort is more than relief from the cold.

Comfort is the enveloping warmth of safety where you know that you belong, where strength is renewed, laughter is free and hope is the air you breathe. It is knowing you can just be … nothing else is required.

This is God’s intention, God’s desire. Listen: ‘Comfort, comfort my people. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem.”

It is impossible for me to read these words without hearing the clarion call of the tenor at the start of Handel’s Messiah, announcing God’s intention to be the comfort for which our hearts hunger.

So we pray, Come, Lord Jesus, be our comfort in the cold.

Pr. David L. Miller