January 10

Isaiah 62:1-5

“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.” vs. 1

When the people returned to Jerusalem after their time in exile, it would have been easy for them to be discouraged. Their proud city lay in ruins and the temple had been destroyed. The protective walls were no more than piles of rubble. But the prophet refused to let the voices of pessimism win the day, and instead offered words of encouragement and hope. It’s what our faith ancestors have always done in the face of destruction, death, and defeat. We are this world’s people of hope and will always refuse to capitulate in the face of every ugly challenge thrown against us. Even as this pandemic continues to grind away by undermining and negating our dreams and plans. Even as wars and rumors of nuclear destruction fill the pages of newspapers. Even as lies and fears abound, followers of Jesus will continue to anticipate salvation and restoration. For many this message seems quaint and out of touch–they’ve given up on the “peace on earth, good will to all” song of the Christmas angels and see nothing but ruination for our world. Their discouragement is understandable but the vision of the hopeful will always win the day. Even on a day of darkness we will continue to celebrate the Light.

Thought for the Day: How do I avoid discouragement?

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