Joy

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Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 35:1-10

James 5:7-10

Matthew 11:2-11

Psalm 146:4-9

 

The words of Isaiah: Those ransomed by Adonai will return and come with singing to Tziyon, on their heads will be everlasting joy. They will acquire gladness and joy, while sorrow and sighing will flee. CJB

Isaiah lived and prophesied in Jerusalem after the Assyrians defeated the Northern Kingdom and about a century before Babylon defeated the Southern Kingdom. In part, his words speak of the time when God’s people will be able to return to the homeland from their captivity. But mostly he speaks of the end times when the Messiah will return, the New Israel and the New Jerusalem will descend to replace the old, and God’s chosen people will arise and populate the new City of God.

Until that day comes, we can live in joy knowing it is a sure thing. Be patient, then, my friends, until the Lord comesGNT James continues with the illustration of a farmer waiting for his crops. Like the farmer, we must wait through hard times; powerful storms, insects, molds, rodents, birds, and even those early and late rains which are sometimes too little or too much. We face threats every day and some day’s disaster strikes.

Yet, James, and God, would have us be patient. So must you be patient, resting your hearts on the ultimate certainty. The Lord’s coming is very nearPhillips

He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,

    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous
NIV

 

It is easy to have joy in the good times. Praise God in the bad days.

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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