Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’
But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.’
And now the Lord says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honoured in the sight of the Lord, and my God has become my strength—
he says, ‘It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.’
Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the slave of rulers, ‘Kings shall see and stand up, princes, and they shall prostrate themselves, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.’
Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you;
I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages; saying to the prisoners, ‘Come out’,to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’ They shall feed along the ways, on all the bare heights shall be their pasture;
they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down,
for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.
And I will turn all my mountains into a road, and my highways shall be raised up.
Lo, these shall come from far away, and lo, these from the north and from the west,
and these from the land of Syene. Isaiah 49:1-12
Today I will set out again for home. I will attempt to fly out of Helena, this majestic city nestled in the mountains, my second home, to the east coast where my family is waiting, knee deep in newly deposited snow. I have been delayed by several days. In this time I have had the chance to relish what a gift it is to have people waiting upon one's arrival, how precious it is to have people who live love large no matter the circumstances and complications.
In our lovely passage from Isaiah, this vision of God's care for those who have been bound, those who have been darkness, those who have been kept from the nourishing love of family. God reminds us all that despite the complications and circumstances, God is always acting for us in our suffering, in our challenges and finding us a road home.
Today I ask God for safe travel and a smooth road home. May we always trust God for the next steps in our journey and may we always know we have a home with our beloved Creator.