And the Glory of the Lord Will Be Revealed

And the Glory of the Lord Will Be Revealed

Summer of 2018 has been miserable.

There have been no morning coffees on the deck, no pleasant afternoon walks, no evenings gazing up at the stars. At least, not since about June-something. The reason? It’s always either 100 degrees, or raining, or both. It’s the most awful summer I can remember.

And that’s just the weather.

Without going into detail about everything else, suffice it to say that I’ve been angry, sad, overwhelmed, worn down, and just so, so, so done. I’m done.

It’s been a long, dark summer.

And where there is darkness, we crave the Light.

Light dispels the darkness. Darkness is despair. Light brings hope.

Jesus is the Light.

When Christ comes, he destroys the darkness. He is Light. He is Hope. He is Love. Justice. Mercy. Life.

This morning, my usual routine of opening the bible to a random page, it fell on Isaiah chapter 40:

Every valley shall be lifted up,
every mountain and hill made low;
The rugged land shall be a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.

Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

You can read the whole passage here. Usually, when we read this passage, we think of John the Baptist, the “voice crying out in the wilderness.” We think of the Incarnation, of Jesus coming to earth 2,000 years ago. But isn’t it also a message for us today?

The Lord sees the darkness we are in, and he is coming to save us. He sees all the work that needs to be done. He sees the jagged mountains of pride, the deep valleys of deception, the rugged untamed wilderness of self-serving hearts.

We are a people living in darkness right now. It’s inescapable. But the Lord is coming, and with him, he brings the Light.

I’ve been getting a lot of comfort today in the words of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. We often tend to think of this as a Christmas carol, but really it’s not. Read it slowly.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.

O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.

O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode.

O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.

O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.

Come, “O Wisdom” Come, “O Lord of Might”. Could you imagine a prayer we need more right now? We know that Jesus promised never to abandon us. We wait for him to come and reveal his Glory.

Maranatha!

 

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From Darkness to Light

Last night was our first Halloween with the new house. I made my mom’s apple cider, we handed out candy to Trick or Treaters, and then we promptly shut it down at 8 to watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” on ABC. I had so much fun! It was a perfect Halloween.

At one point, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if we had children. Would they look forward to their mom’s apple cider as much as I did? Would they want to dress as princesses or vampires? Would Charlie Brown be a sacred event for them as well?

That was October 31. And now it’s November. It’s time to put aside the bad stuff for a while and start counting the things we’re thankful for. Good ol’ Bing Crosby had it right (I’m telling you, White Christmas is definitely one of those feel-good movies to keep on hand year-round).

What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful that I was born into a loving and supportive family. I’m thankful for generous soon-to-be in-laws. I’m thankful we bought a beautiful house this year (with a library in walking distance!!).

Most of all, I am thankful that in exactly 7 months from today, I will be marrying my best friend and the love of my life. It certainly doesn’t get any better than that.

Marriage Advice from a Pumpkin Patch

I told James that I wasn’t going to be happy this Fall until I had carved a pumpkin, baked a pie, and raked leaves. Check numbers 1 and 2.

My Jack-O-Lantern of 2012

We got our darling pumpkin from a redneck on the side of the road. First thing he says when we pull up is, “So who’s paying?” When we said that I was the one with the cash, he said “It’s always that way with young people. The girl pays and the guy’s just standing there.” “Well it’s all both our money anyway,” we said. “Oh, are y’all married?” “Almost,” we answered.

So began the conversation. He told us about how he and his wife divorced after 10 years and then became best friends until she was struck by a car and died. You could see the heartbreak in his watery blue eyes. He told us that the worst thing you can do in a marriage is be jealous. “If y’all go to a party, doesn’t matter who she’s talking to, as long as she leaves with you that’s fine.”

I guess the moral of the story is that marriage is hard enough, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Like my grandfather used to say, “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage and half-shut after.” What is it about “forever” that makes people start getting petty and forgetting their friendship? I hope we always remember that we are best friends, and that nothing is ever more important than this.