Comfort ye

         Comfort, O comfort my people,
                  says your God.
         Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
                  and cry to her that she has suffered enough.

                           —Isaiah 40.1-2

You who ache, hear this word.
You who long, you whose hopes lie wounded,
whose hearts are broken,
hear this word:
Blessing and comfort to you,
and assurance that God is with you
in infinite tenderness and healing.

We hear this word, we bear this word,
as we sing and pray,
as we shop and decorate.
We are always mindful of this:
this word is for you who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death:
you who survive the slum,
who endure the abuse, the trafficking;
you who are profiled, bullied, enslaved,
abused, tortured or forgotten;
you who rage at the evil of the powerful
and are not satisfied;
you whose diagnosis is not good,
whose job is not appearing,
whose marriage is a wound;
you whose people are called no one,
refugees, prisoners, outcasts,
who are too poor or queer or honest for us,
you whom the world rejects, God embraces—
we sing to you.

If this comfort is not for you,
then we sing it in vain.
Unless what we do will bring comfort to you
we believe nothing.
 

   —December 5, 2017