Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Jeremiah 31:7-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
For thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
“Save, O Lord, your people,
the remnant of Israel.”
See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
those with child and those in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him,
and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.”
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him.
They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord,
over the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall become like a watered garden,
and they shall never languish again.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
I will give the priests their fill of fatness,
and my people shall be satisfied with my bounty,
says the Lord.
This is the Lord’s Day, let us rejoice! I read this scripture today and I got excited! Turn my mourning into joy, comfort, gladness for sorrow. How can we not get excited about such a wonderful Word from God?
In today’s culture in the USA, I hear a lot about how the church is dying, how people are abandoning ship. I have had several conversations with folks about what we can do, should do. The attitude is always the same, people feel depressed, hopeless, not sure what direction to turn.
I have made the decision and I hope you will join me, to be excited not just today on the Lord’s day but every day! Israel had been scattered to the four winds, and yet God’s Word told them he would give them joy and gladness. God today is still the same God; His promises never fail.
Instead of being sad and depressed about how small, financially struggling, or whatever the latest concern is-let’s get excited. God is going to turn our sorrow into gladness, our mourning into joy! Praise God and His holy name!
Gracious God, in our country today so many of us are sorrowful and sad. We watch and listen to other’s mourning and depressed. Anoint us Lord with the oil of gladness. Get our hearts stirring again. Today is your day. We gather to worship You. Let us be excited to honor you and to know that you are working all things for our good! In Jesus name, Amen.
Go with God!