35 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus 2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and shouting. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God. He will come with vengeance, with terrible recompense. He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be opened; 6 then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp; the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 8 A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. 10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. — Isaiah 35:1-10


The Desert Blossoms

Super Bloom — “a rare desert botanical phenomenon in which an unusually high proportion of wildflowers whose seeds have lain dormant in desert soil germinate and blossom at roughly the same time. The phenomenon is associated with an unusually wet rainy season.”

How do we wrestle with the nature of joy when it feels far from our conscious? 

Today’s prophecy calls us to confront the hope and promise of joy as it is given by God. 

Our Christmas Card from Isaiah today reads:

Justice in the Desert.”

Why chose “justice” and not “joy?”

  • The joy that we celebrate as we approach this season of Christmas is the joy of God’s justice for the world.
  • Our Judaic roots teach the understanding that the promise of joy is rooted in justice

Diving into Isaiah:

  • Prophecies warning Jerusalem about the impending future. 
  • Isaiah warning of the destruction that is to come. 
  • Reminders to the people and leaders of Judah that should they continue on this path of forsaking God it will lead them into relationships that will result in their downfall. 
  • Isaiah knows that there is judgement for the nations, but it is God’s justice for God’s people and God’s creation that will stand firm within the nature of salvation and redemption. 

Reminders for the People of Judah: 

In the midst of suffering, God’s Spirit reigns down, and brings justice for those who seek the joy of God. 

Moving Towards Christmas:

  • In Jesus’ birth is a great opportunity to see God’s justice on display. 
  • The world is redeemed, a promise for the holy city of the Lord to be built, and a place for the people of God to dwell.

The Metaphorical Wilderness of Isaiah 35: 

  • There is not a literal blind person gaining sight, but it is those who are blind to the injustices of the Kingdom. 
  • Those who are deaf to the cries of the needy. 
  • Those who fein lame and those who use their tongue for harm. 
  • A message that the joy of the world, is meant for those who seek out God’s justice within it.

Joy to the World! The Savior Reigns!!!

We continue to see both the hope and peace, and recognize the call to each as we live out the joy of the world.


We look towards Judah as an opportunity to know and understand that it does not come in faith of principalities or nationalities, but it comes in faith for God and God’s Kingdom. 

What we are left to wrestle with is how are we making justice out of the joy that God offers the world?

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