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“They will be called … the City no longer deserted”.

Isa 62:12 NIV

 A deserted city is an uncomfortable and eerie place. Sometimes a pastor gets called to visit a person in hospital in the middle of the night. You drive through empty streets. Here and there you spy a person sleeping on a pavement. You wonder why. It doesn’t seem right. There are buildings with no one in them but with all lights on. Many buildings, bright with lights throughout the day, are in total darkness. You wonder who is lurking in the shadows. In the “red light district” an occasional person is standing at the street corner. You almost feel afraid – wondering what is going on in the darkness. But the hospital is full of light – and people working hard. The city is empty. It almost seems as if it is dead. But in another couple of hours it will throb with life!

Jerusalem had been deserted. Its inhabitants had been carted off to far-away Babylon. For the few scattered souls who remained the place they had once called home was as good as dead. And many people had been killed whilst the battle for Jerusalem raged. There was death in the city – ruins, destruction and hopelessness. But God intervened and the people came home from their far away exile. Some found parts of their old houses still in place and set about sorting out the mess. New people had been born and had grown up in exile. For other exiles, people they had known had died in the meantime. To them it was all strange. But in place of the hopelessness there was now a promise. Soon, day by day, life came back. Eventually there was hustle and bustle. God reigned again!


Lord, fill our cities with people who are alive with faith.


Lord, I pray today for those scientists working to develop an effective vaccine to combat the Covid-19 virus. Aid them to make early breakthroughs. Prompt those working on this project to co-operate with others throughout the world. Strengthen all health workers to serve their turn as long as the need persists. I ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN

I.B.R.A. Readings

Psalm 100

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