I will lead the blind
by a road they do not know,
by paths they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I will do,
and I will not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)
Hebrew Scripture gets a bad rap among some Christians, who imagine the Old Testament of their Bibles is all about God’s law and wrath. There is a mistaken assumption that the truly good news of God’s loving favor and forgiveness starts with Jesus, who somehow changes everything—including God’s character.
The Old Testament God is thought to be angry … and the New Testament God is loving and tender.
But God’s character doesn’t change with Jesus. The loving passion and tenderness of God is there in Hebrew Scripture, proclaimed for all to hear and see.
In Christ, we see who God has been all along and always will be. The human face of Jesus reveals the Logos, the Loving Mystery who constantly labors to bring us and all creation home, to open the eyes of those who fail to see the wonder of God’s constant presence, to guide us back to places where we know again that we are beloved.
The Holy One comes to lead us from the darkness of our fears into the light of divine presence that we may know there is nothing to fear, for God will not let us be lost to the darkness of this world or to the shadows of our troubled lives and minds.
I will not forsake them. Not ever. This is God’s promise in the Old Testament, the New Testament, for forever … and a day. The promise is sealed by the appearance of Christ, God sharing our flesh, that we may know God is light, God is life, God is love, God is … always with and for us.
As Christmas comes, imagine again the child, Jesus, in Mary’s arms and know … here is the one who will never leave you. Love endures.
Pr. David L. Miller