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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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.