December 3, 2010
To start today's post, you are invited to watch as Judith Viorst shares her wonderful children's book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". Since it takes about 5 minutes to watch, I won't write much here. I hope it brings a smile to you, and then, as you are ready, approach the text in prayer.
Prayer: "Most loving God, we do not understand why things happen when they do, and especially not when they disrupt our ideas of a perfect holiday season. We can only trust in the promise of your word."
Isaiah 30:19-26 (New International Version, ©2010)
19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." 22 Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"
23 He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows. 24 The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash, spread out with fork and shovel. 25 In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. 26 The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.
We all have asked why bad things happen to good people, or why believers have their "Jerusalem" moments. In my family, the past week has included quite a few moments. I won't go into them because mine/ours aren't any more difficult than anyone else's moments, and all things considered, we're all right. However, this particular scripture came at a very welcome time!
I think of all the opportunities our country has right now for doing justice, and evolving into a place in which God's intentions to "bind up the injuries of his people, and heal up their wounds." Come, thou long-expected Jesus! I for one can't wait to see the light as of a sevenfold sun.
Prayer: "God of light, as you promised Jerusalem, your promise in Jesus is for us in every time and every place. Making it real within us is partly up to us, coming closer to you during this season, and remembering through adversity that your realm does not mean we will never experience hardship or difficulty. Help us to draw close to you in the sure knowledge that it doesn't require everything to go perfectly in our lives for us to know your perfect love. Amen."
Further reading for today:
Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Happy Hanukkah to our brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith!