Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us that God is musical and He rejoices and sings over you. - -
The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy; he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Dare to Rejoice
Pastor Jerry began his Sunday
sermon with the reading of Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 and 2 Thessalonians 5:16-24.
Isaiah 61:1-4 “The
Spirit of the Lord Godis upon
Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me
to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening
of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the
acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of
vengeance of our God;
To comfort all
3 To console those
who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy
The garment of
praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be
called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord,
that He may be glorified.”
The Scripture portion in Isaiah was
spoken to encourage the people who had been in exile for 40 years and were now
returning to Jerusalem from Babylon.The prophet declared that they needed to rejoice as they approached a
devastated Jerusalem.There was hope to empower and rebuild even in
this harsh and difficult time.
We are reminded that many
today are disenfranchised and away from “home.”
As we read Isaiah we
understand this as also prophesying of Jesus coming to earth.
Jesus in his early ministry
opened the scroll to this portion and read it aloud to the people as He was
speaking of Himself.
In Israel there were desert areas in
the south, “Restore and turn again our captivity
Only a remnant returned to Zion, because many were
settled in the foreign land.
There is tremendous symbolism
in this story, as we can realize that in troubled times we have hope and practice
rejoicing in all circumstances.
Often it is hard to
rejoice.We pray for rain, and then
comes a flood, and a mountain slide that destroyed many homes.
How can we go through all
this without the “Church?”This is
nostalgic also as we prepare for Christmas Coming.We are reminded of all the blessings through
the year and we focus on good memories and rejoice.
Paul in Thessalonians assumes
that all he is writing to are Christians.Yet people go to their job and are busy with their lives.There is such a thing as rejoicing while
When we say, “I am going to
Church,” we think of a building.It is
also a spiritual place of Community.It
is still “church” if we meet in a tent, or under a tree.
Many do not want the
hierarchy of church life.Unfortunately
there are times that church is toxic and certain ungodly behaviors can drive
people away.Splits can occur and they
often don’t make it and the congregation dissolves and many are hurt.They are put off by ‘church,’ so they feel they don’t need “church”
and decide to go solo.
True believers meet with
others of like precious faith, and rejoice together as they serve Christ.They know there is strength in assembling
together to worship and pray.
We do not deny that there is
suffering, pains and problems in life, but God sent us a Savior.We the church reach out and become God’s
hands to touch friends with encouragement, kindness of a phone call, e-mail
(not quite as nice,) a ride to church, or a bowl of soup.
John Calvin said, “There is
not one blade of grass, or color in this world that is not intended to make us
Yes, in life, we may have
ongoing struggles, but stir up our slumbering Spirit and Rejoice.