Isaiah 42:10-18 (NRSV)
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth!
Let the sea roar and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their
Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice,
villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the tops of the mountains.
Let them give glory to
and declare his praise in the coastlands.
The LORD goes forth
like a soldier,
like a warrior he stirs up his fury;
he cries out, he
he shows himself mighty against his foes.
For a long time
I have held my peace,
I have kept still and restrained myself;
will cry out like a woman in labor,
I will gasp and pant.
I will lay
waste mountains and hills,
and dry up all their herbage;
I will turn the
rivers into islands,
and dry up the pools.
I will lead the blind
a road they do not know,
by paths they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into
These are the things I will do,
and I will not forsake
They shall be turned back and utterly put to shame -—
trust in carved images,
who say to cast images,
"You are our gods."
Listen, you that are deaf;
and you that are blind, look up and see!
Today I realized that it is five days until CHRISTmas and I have done NO CHRISTmas shopping for my family!
Just as my chest tightened and I began to panic, I heard the Holy Spirit remind me that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Instead of panicing about not having participated (yet) in a commercialized version of CHRISTmas, I gave myself permission to "Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise from the end of the earth!" Instead of despairing that I hadn't made my pilgrimage to the local Walmart, I chose to "give glory to the LORD, and declare his praise."
I know that I will find a way to get my shopping done for my children. But, that is not what is ultimately important.
What is of paramount importantance is that may family has been making time to gather around the table at night to read scripture, sing carols, and pray for all of God's children to experience the inbreaking of God's Kingdom of Love.
What is important is that on CHRISTmas morn, my family will have a birthday cake for Jesus and we will sing "Happy Birthday!" with glad tidings in our hearts as we celebrate the coming of our King.
And what is important is that Jesus was born, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! Won't you share this good news with all who will hear it!
MERRY CHRISTmas! You are loved!
Holy God, I declare your praise! You are awesome and no one compares to you! Thank you for the blessed gift of Jesus during this holy day season. In His Name, Amen.