Rejoicing in the Dark
Isaiah 61:10-11 says:
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations.
As we have been studying Advent as a church this month, it's been striking to me just how much of Scripture speaks to the darkness in our broken world. So many Psalms, so many sections of the Old Testament prophets, so much of the Gospels...all openly and clearly express frustration and longing and worry and fear that results from experiencing the brokenness of the world around us.
To be human is to experience anguish and darkness. To be a Christian is to have the privilege of holding on to Hope and Joy in the midst of the darkness. Christ's unrelenting hold on us allows us to resist the pull of despair, and rejoice in the eternal hope that we have in Christ.
This doesn't mean we don't acknowledge, fight against, pray for relief from, and long for the ceasing of the darkness. It simply means that our eyes can be, by Grace Alone, fixed on a hope beyond the four walls of our earthly existence. We rejoice because we have a Savior. We rejoice because we have a future. We rejoice because we don't belong here in the mess, but we were made for another world where hope overcomes despair, where fruit overcomes decay, where life and love win.
That's what we're celebrating this Sunday in our singing.
Here are the Scriptures and Songs for our services this week: