Daily D – Joel 2:23
Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the LORD your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. JOEL 2:23 (NLT)
Turn from the main road into our neighborhood today and notice the effects of cool autumn evenings. The beautiful green tree that stands so tall and stately has leaves upon its top third practically glowing with deepening redness. It as if something from above has been poured upon the topmost leaf and is filling the cups of every other leaf on the way down. In another day or two, the whole tree will look like it is on fire.
Then one day a leaf or two will fall. The next day a dozen or two more will join them. It will not take many more days for the tree to become completely barren. This is always such a sad day.
However, having enjoyed this rhythm for over a decade, I can smile at the memory of the photo of our son and daughter-in-law in front of that tree a few years ago. I can likewise anticipate a similarly cool spring morning when we will see the first hints of new life.
Our Father in heaven has created an orderly world. Six days for work accompanied by one for rest. Rest before work. Season upon season, year upon year, decade upon decade.
We fell back last night. For the first time in a few years, I was able to take full advantage of the extra hour of rest. My bride closed our bedroom door during the night preventing our hungry black dog from gently nudging me before the alarm.
The days are cooler now. Cold fronts blow in lowering our temperatures and bringing rain. Nights are longer. The orderly progression goes on.
Soon election season will be over. Thanksgiving will arrive, then Christmas. New Year’s Eve and the Big Day itself will move us into a new calendar set and an odd, but welcome, number.
Today is a good day to thank God for evidence day by day and season by season that he is in charge here. As far as we can look back, as far forward as we can imagine, some things will not change. Our Father’s loving care and guiding hand is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Today on the liturgical calendar is All Saints Day. Let us look back with gratitude for the men and women who stood tall in heavy days, who stooped low to serve when the burdens were great. These men and women provided us with a better world. Now it is our turn to follow their example and build a better world for our children, grandchildren, and for all who suffer and are deprived.
Generations to come will remember a handful of us for joining God in his work of rescuing the world. It is time to stand tall. It is time to bend low in service. It is time to build a better world. This is our season.
Let us begin.
I will join God in the renewal of all things.
Our Father, you have never abandoned us nor forsaken us, and you never will. We need you now to lead us through this season of darkness into a new season of light. Out of the fertile ground of yesterday’s beauty and today’s barrenness, create renewal. Empower us to remember who you are and how you have worked forever so that we may know you fully in this moment as you continue your mission of drawing all people everywhere into your kingdom of love and grace. Amen.
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Zechariah 13:9 “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”
Zechariah 9:9, 10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ezra 3:12, 13 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”