Celebrate Second Advent Sunday with Isaiah 40

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Giant Advent wreath in Kaufbeuren (Bavaria, Germany)

This Sunday is the second advent lights two of the four outer candles. Its focus is on love and reading in Isaiah 40, which prophesied the preaching of John the Baptist, who would come to “prepare the way of the Lord.”

Many of these verses have become the words of powerful musical works. This chapter details God’s power and how He will redeem His people and offers a hopeful message to those who will trust the Lord.

Once again prophecies of chapter 40 foretell both the first and second comings of the Messiah. If we “liken” the teachings in chapter 40 to ourselves, they can be a beautiful and powerful testimony of the Lord and His power in our personal lives.

Third Sunday Before Christmas or Second Advent Sunday
Isaiah 40:1–11

1 Comfort ye, acomfort ye my people,
saith your God.  Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem
    that her awarfare is accomplished,
that her iniquity is bpardoned:
   for she hath received of the Lord’s hand
cdouble for all her sins.
¶ The avoice of him that crieth in the wilderness,
bPrepare ye the cway of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert
dhighway for our God.
 Every avalley shall be bexalted,
and every cmountain and hill shall be made dlow:
    and the ecrooked shall be made straight,
and fthe rough places plain:
 And the aglory of the Lord shall be brevealed,
and all flesh shall csee it together:
     for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
The voice said, Cry.
 And he said, What shall I cry?
 All aflesh is bgrass,
and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
 but the aword of our God shall stand for ever.
 ¶ aZion, that bringest bgood ctidings,
 get thee up into the high mountain;
    O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,
 lift up thy voice with strength;
    lift it up, be not afraid;
 say unto the cities of dJudah, Behold your God!
 10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand,
and his aarm shall rule for him
     behold, his breward is with him, and his work before him.
11 He shall feed his aflock like a bshepherd:
he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them in his bosom,
   and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Many of the verses in Isaiah 40 have become the words to wonderful musical works because this chapter richly describes the Lord’s power and how He will redeem His people. As a family today listen to this part of Handel’s Messiah:

If we “liken” the teachings in chapter 40 to ourselves, they can be a beautiful and powerful testimony of the Lord and His power in our personal lives.

Further Study:

  1. The JST, Luke 3:4–11 in the LDS edition of the King James Bible appendix offers another look at each of these verses.
  2. Who did Luke describe in Isaiah 40:3–5?
  3. What changes can you find in the Joseph Smith Translation.
  4. In your own paper copy of the scripture, you might write this reference next to Isaiah 40:3–5.
  5. In what ways could you personally apply the message in Isaiah 40:3?
  6. How do you think God will literally fulfill Isaiah 40:4. Read verse 5 and consider how all flesh can “see it together.”
  7. How can these verses, 4—5 be fulfilled in a spiritual, personal way?
  8. How might these verses apply to anyone who wonders if righteousness is worth the effort, if they will live with God, or what could happen in the future?

Read other Advent posts here:

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I am a retiree from Scouting. There I blogged for VoiceOfScouting.org, a site with more than 250,000 readers. During 42 years in the workplace, I've had many years senior level management with the BSA, professional associations, and high tech user groups. My background includes capital fundraising; outdoor adventure program development; property and construction management; event/conference planning; risk management and safety; lobbying federal, state and local government agencies; public relations; strategic planning; member advocacy and staff/volunteer training. Along the way, I have also taught Gospel Doctrine Classes and been both the ward and stake Sunday School President. In these settings, I have seen teachers and class members minimize Isaiah, a book Christ has commanded us to "search diligently." (3 Ne 23:1) With that in mind, I will do my best to explore and post my discoveries about the book of Isaiah. I am not a Bible scholar; like you, I read Isaiah in the Old Testament cycle of study in LDS Gospel Doctrine Classes and again in the Book of Mormon Cycle, so this is a whole new scripture adventure for me.

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