Go Out With Celebration
From Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough
July is underway. I pray this note finds you well, and everyone is staying cool during the warm afternoons. Blessings on your work, and may you be finding time to enjoy the summer season while tending to your work and caring for your families and yourselves. You are in our prayers. Please let us know if there is a need we might be able to help with. You are loved and held.
Scripture: Isaiah 55:12-13
Yes, you will go out with celebration and you will be brought back in peace.
Even the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you;
all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
In place of the thorn the cypress will grow in place of the nettle the myrtle will grow.
This will attest to the Lord’s stature, an enduring reminder that won’t be removed.
Aren't these beautiful images? I wish I were a painter. I would paint dancing trees, emerald green hills, and a beautiful river. I would include all kinds of flowers, and yes, the blooming myrtle. I just read that the myrtle is the Hebrew symbol for marriage. God is declaring that his relationship with us will endure the test of time. We belong to God and to one another forever.
We are often impatient for our time of exile to be over. However, in chapter 55:8, we hear God telling us that our ways and not God's ways. What I am hearing is that God is telling us to be patient, and to let God be God. We are often tempted to plead and demand our case with God. We feel we know exactly what we need. Yet, it is not God's way to always give us what we think we need right when we think we need it. That is the way of a child. We may be fussy now, but we will be brought back in peace. Let us not waste time in doubt and worry, but rather in prayer and preparation for the time when all will be revealed in song and celebration. Let us have the courage to believe these wonderful words of life.
Holy Eternal God, we thank you that you speak to us of encouragement. You know at times we struggle with patience, even to the point where our faith begins to fray. We thank you for your forgiveness, and your steadfast love that never lets us go. Holy One, continue to stir our hearts in this time. We thank you for those who tend to our care. May we remember that we all wait together. Yet in this waiting, you give us the bread of life and the cup of salvation. You offer us reconciliation at the table of Christ that is always set before us. May we be content, knowing that your vast love is unlimited, and such love can fill our hearts to overflowing if we say yes to the invitation to rest and trust completely in your love. In Christ we gratefully pray, Amen.
Rev. Sue Ann Yarbrough
Associate Pastor, San Lorenzo Community Church, United Church of Christ
SpiritCare Ministry to Seniors
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Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough