Years have passed since I first realized God's purpose for becoming man in Jesus Christ had as much to do with the emotional fallout of our sin as with the salvation of our souls.
Jesus Himself quoted Isaiah. "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me..."
- to bind up the brokenhearted
- to comfort all who mourn
- a crown of beauty instead of ashes
- the oil of joy instead of mourning
- a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair
How awesome! Our craving need for comfort, healing, joy, praise--all promised in our Savior. I have clung to these words over and over.
Jesus stopped his quotation mid-way through the passage, just shy of "the day of vengeance of our God." Pastors said that Jesus first coming to the earth didn't involve the day of vengeance; that's coming later. Praise the Lord and amen!
Reading Isaiah again recently, I noticed something new. All those beautiful verses about comfort? They come after the day of vengeance.
Hmm. Whether I consider the verses in a literal, eschatalogical sense; or in a logical progression from one thought to the next; doesn't that imply that the work of comfort, beauty, joy, praise won't be complete until after the day of vengeance?
The Teacher in Ecclesiastes 3 describes it "a time to mourn and a time to dance." Perhaps my blog reflections on the anniversaries of my daughter's and mother's deaths embodies more truth than I realized at the time: Dancing with Grief. This idea fits right in with the thought I shared last week that so often God is doing amazing, marvelous things in my life at the same time I face the greatest trials.
Until our Savior returns and restores all nature to its original purpose, mourning and dancing will always be intertwined.
Maranatha. Amen, Come Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)
P.S. Jennifer Slattery, please give me your email addy so you may receive your free book. :)
P.P.S. A time for dancing--back to the timeless beauty of dance as seen in So You Think You Can Dance!