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Saturday, 22 April 2017

"Break forth... into Singing."

"I ask for the grace to pray and meditate on behalf of my community of faith.  May we learn patience, compassion, tolerance, empathy and gentleness.  May we abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, arrogance, and self-righteousness.  May we know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly."

Isaiah 49:11-13
11 And I will turn all my mountains into a road,
   and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Lo, these shall come from far away,
   and lo, these from the north and from the west,
   and these from the land of Syene.

13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
   break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
   and will have compassion on his suffering ones.

1)  "...raised up;" "...sing for joy;" "...exult;" "...break forth... into singing;" "...the Lord has comforted his people;" "...and will have compassion;"

2) It has already happened.  God has already "comforted his people," has already had "compassion on his suffering ones." We forget.  We overlook.  We get distracted.  We get impatient.  But it has already happened, again and again.  God has been good.  Over and over, God has been good.  God will be good again.  God is good currently.  Currently there are lots of distractions: I'm tired; the world is going crazy; my newsfeed is full of horrible news from around the world; the church is struggling to adapt to a totally new reality; and there are some genuinely ill-intended people out there who take advantage of vulnerability, openness, and trust.  I remember the saying that came across my Insight Timer feed: "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional."  Suffering is what we make of pain.  God is already offering compassion and comfort.

3) What is the invitation in all this?  To remember that "The Lord has comforted his people."    To keep my "suffering" in context, to let pain and discomfort be just that, pain and discomfort, and nothing more.  To let God be in the pain and discomfort.  Now, that feels good... let God be in the discomfort.

"Holy One, open my lips that I may sing for joy and break forth into singing!"

Breathprayer: "Break forth... into singing."

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