First Reading: Isaiah 35:4-7

A Song of Hope

4 Tell those who have a fearful heart, "Be strong.
Don't be afraid."
Behold, your God will come with vengeance, God's retribution.
He will come and save you.
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
6 Then the lame man will leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute will sing;
for waters will break out in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water.
Grass with reeds and rushes will be in the habitation of jackals, where they lay.

World English Bible

As the old adage goes, the prophet's job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. In the midst of the later (castigating the rich and powerful), the prophet gives comfort.

This passage is part of a great liberation poem. The broken people (represented by the frightened [4], the blind and the deaf [5], and the crippled and the speechless [6]) would be restored to wholeness. The land of the people would be fruitful; springs would turn desert into lush farmland [7]. The passage describes a time of divine restoration.

In times of desperation, the words of hope can cure and restore. How do we as Christians pass along the Good News and its message of hope to others? Is the Good News we proclaim "blah news?"