Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday December 8 Strong Words

Thursday December 8
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! For the LORD will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the LORD himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster. On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:14-17 NLT

Can you hear it? The distant melody; the joyful singing? Christmas carols hold a special joy for so many people.  Even folks don't particularly care for music or who would never be caught singing will often join in a Christmas carol and those who seldom listen to music enthusiastically turn to that special playlist or enjoy the radio this time of year. But listen again. What if the sound that stirs our hearts isn't the familiar carol but instead the joyful sound of God, your maker singing with delight that you have come seeking His face, remembering with anticipation, the day he stepped out of heaven and into our own world. We often caution children about "strong words" such as "hate" but "delight" and "rejoice" are very strong words too and ones that merit not caution but joy.  These are the words that were used to describe how God feels about you not because of anything you have or have not done but simply because of who he created you to be. How does God feel about you? For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT. His masterpiece! And He is singing with joy over you right now. We turn toward THAT sound. Listen! Sing along!

Loving God, too often we become stuck in condemnation or despair.  Remind us that is no place we should stay and that all we need do is turn in a new direction, to turn toward the one who loves us.  Help us to hear the sound of Your singing.  Help us to feel in the depth of our being Your joy and delight in us. Give us hearts that reflect that loving wonder back to You as we continually turn in Your direction, the direction of the joyful exultation You feel for each one of us. Lord help us , we pray, to sing along! We ask in the joyful name of Jesus. AMEN!

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