Renewed Reason To Celebrate
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Where Once Fishers Fished for Food,
Now Is Empty,
Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without human beings or animals’, in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without inhabitants, human or animal, there shall once more be heard the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank-offerings to the house of the Lord:
‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all,
Words of Grace For Today
How many desolate places are there these days, where no more are there inhabitants or animals to be found? Where conflict and destruction of wars have chased all living things away? Or climate change storms or earthquakes or floods or droughts or rising oceans or … (you name it) have made places uninhabitable?
How many desolate places are there these days, where inhabitants and animals are to be found? Where Covid isolation, strife among neighbours and within families, or greed for power has pitted some against others, or greed based lies have destroyed the foundations of trust, decimating all that remains of a place of safety where one used to acknowledge, converse, suffering with, mourn with, and celebrate joyfully with others?
Covid is no longer treated as a pandemic, yet long Covid has taken a greater toll than just the number of those who have succumbed to death because of Covid. And such a greater number of people all across the world have suffered irreparable damage because of the mostly sensibly enforced isolation of Covid restrictions. Elderly people in care homes, seniors with age and health issues, those suffering dementia, those already caught in the grips of addictions to alcohol, drugs, or anything else, people of all ages with compromised health, children of all ages, school age children deprived of years of learning opportunities and community with other children, extroverts of all flavours cut off from what energizes them, and even introverts and hermits driven further from others.
So many people suffer and will not recover. Others are slowly recovering, like feet that slowly recover feeling more than two years after a rather simple case of Covid early on before the variants of concern became household things.
But how does one reach out?
How does one welcome others, when welcoming them places everyone at new and unseen risks, even risk of death?
How does one carry on without contact with others, giving and receiving the simplest kinds of care?
This is not the first time we have faced such challenges. Many times in millennia gone by, we cried to God to save us,
and God brought voices of mirth and joy to ring from places so desolate not one human or animal had been found there, where before desolation took hold the hustle and bustle of life and community had been vibrant.
These are exactly the kind of challenges we face as people, for which Jesus came, lived among us, taught, ministered to and cured all that ails us, and demonstrated the power of God, not in acts of taking over worldly powers, but in the weakness of loving humans, all of us, just as we are, and showing us how the power of forgiveness gives new life to us all.
So we too, in slow recovery, will sing this day. We will sing God’s praise and pray that those lost will be found, those sick will recover, those dying will be set free to come home to Jesus.
Let the choruses ring out, and once again mark the land as blessed in all ways.