Isaiah (48:17-19) today reminds us of another aspect of our Redeemer that we mustn’t forget: that He is our teacher and leader. During this time of the year, we get caught up in the good feelings of the babe in swaddling clothes, the manger scene, the singing angels, the humble shepherds, the Stille Nacht — and there’s nothing wrong with doing so — but we must not forget to what this was to lead. Jesus, thirty years hence, would be boldly proclaiming the Kingdom and giving His hearers — and all future generations — the keys to bring forth and enter into His Kingdom. At great personal cost He, as a good shepherd should, guided us by telling us how to live and lived it Himself as our exemplar. Remember these words of Jesus?:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. (Matthew 7:13)
We turn to The Navarre Bible, Major Prophets for the final word:
[T]his oracle is a “teaching” that applies in every age, and is valid for all nations and every individual:everyone must be converted and follow the way of the Lord. (212)
We must never cease striving to live up to the Lord’s expectations. Advent is a good season to ponder this. For those inclined to make New Year’s resolutions, this is prime time to develop resolutions that will bring us closer to God. This is something we must all resolve to do.