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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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.