Saturday, December 14, 2013

REJOICE!

The Third Sunday of Advent is traditionally Rejoice Sunday!  We light the pink candle in the Advent Wreath!  One reading the weekend is from Isaiah 35....

1The wilderness and the parched land will exult;
the Arabah will rejoice and bloom;2Like the crocus it shall bloom abundantly,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
They will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.3Strengthen hands that are feeble,
make firm knees that are weak,4Say to the fearful of heart:
Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.5Then the eyes of the blind shall see,
and the ears of the deaf be opened;6Then the lame shall leap like a stag,
and the mute tongue sing for joy.
For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the Arabah.7The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals crouch
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.8A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
but it will be for his people;
no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray on it.9No lion shall be there,
nor any beast of prey approach,
nor be found.
But there the redeemed shall walk,10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
They meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning flee away.
As I read these words, I'm reminded of the song "Blest Are They" by David Haas.  We have reason to be joyful.  Walking beside us, even sometimes carrying us, is Jesus through our joys and our sorrows.  What I may see as a hindrance or something that holds me back, God sees as a chance for redemption and freedom for my soul!  Life is not going to be entirely good or bad...it's a mixture of both.  We are human, we were created as imperfect individuals.  Can we live with the duality of the light and darkness found in our lives?  Do we know that Jesus' forgiveness and redemption can encompass it all?