April 2021

April 2021


“Return to me, for I have redeemed you”

Isaiah 44.22  (RSV)   


These words are spoken by the prophet to God’s people, who are still held in Babylon after many years of being in exile from their homeland and all they hold dear. But, Isaiah assures them, the prospect of change is coming. The prophet speaks out in God’s name, to comfort and encourage them, to assure them that God has not forgotten them and that their transgressions have been swept away like a cloud being dispersed by the wind, like early mist lifting in the morning sun. The text here is echoed with similar words in Jeremiah 24.7: “I will be their God, for they shall return to me with all their heart”.


These are words to encourage the exiles to have confidence in God, to sing and celebrate a God who values them and has redeemed them and will bring them home. Their past sins have been paid for, the slate is wiped clean. They are encouraged to put that past, with its feelings of separation and loss, behind them and to look forward in hope. They are to trust God wholeheartedly and not to doubt his goodness or intentions towards them. However they might feel at times, they are to realise that God is faithful and just, and all creation should celebrate his goodness (Psalm 137)


To feel vulnerable in the face of lost opportunities or the loss of familiar physical presence of people or places is something people throughout the ages have been able to identify with. Throughout history, areas of the world have been destroyed by natural disasters, decimated by widespread illness and the ravages of conflict and injustice of all kinds.


Yet, through these words God speaks into these situations to reassure us that we are not alone; that it is safe to return to him with complete confidence; and that he has our, and the whole creation’s, best interests are heart. This is a text of encouragement in hard and trying times, urging us to depend on a God who loves and values us and wants to welcome us home.



A Watchword might be “Return to me” or “I have redeemed you”