In this second section (chapters 35, 40-66) of Isaiah, Isaiah moves from the judgment of the exile to the promise of restoration for the remnant who remain faithful during the exile. The restoration will not, however, be a resumption of the same old way of following the covenant but God will do a "new" thing (43:19) Like a birth, however, this "new thing" will come through ordeal. Just as the people witnessed the power of God the wilderness before they came to the promised land, the remnant with witness the awesome power of God. The remnant will be reshaped into a new people. The iniquities that caused the exile will be taken away and all their sins shall be remembered no more. In order to remove these iniquities, however, the people must be as yielding as clay in the potter's hands.
Isaiah 64:8 O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter
Have you ever tried to shape dry clay? What about wet clay?
Do you resist change or do you seek God's will?
Do we allow the waters of grace to soften our hearts to God?
Does a softened heart change the way we approach Christmas?
What if we open ourselves up to the wonder of this Christmas rather than nostalgia of Christmas past?