Rejoice!- 1-10-23 1

A Happy New Year and blessings to you all for a prosperous new year as you continue to journey on your faith walk with the Lord.

I do hope the Chanukah & Christmas seasons were enjoyable. For me, two significant and long-time prayers were answered with great rejoicing (at least for me). I will share one; the other we’ll wait for another time. I’ve shared in the past that I had worked for EPD, Inc. (a company founded by my former husband) for nearly 20 years. This was and still is a packaging company; but it is more importantly a company that hires people with physical limitations at competitive wages. For the first time since its founding ~35 years ago, they closed down from Christmas to New Year’s. In today’s society we might not think much of this. After all, many companies and ministries work all year round – not to omit medical, fire, police, military and others. However, for me this was pivotal in that I had not only seen but also experienced the stresses on workers and management when working until 5pm on Christmas Eve and returning bright and early on the 26th. In my own extended family, I saw the “quiet desperation” to get the necessary tasks done for clients and then to create and enjoy the special time of Christmas. Not easy to do! This added a significant reason for thanksgiving to see people I love and care for actually relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

It is weird how my brain often thinks, because as I was reflecting on the above when returning home, my thoughts took me to Luke 15:8-9. Jesus says, “Or suppose a woman has 10 silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and say, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’” We know through our Bible studies that these verses refer to salvation; that the Lord desires all to come to know Him as Savior; that Jesus is on the lookout for those who are “lost” as He responded to the Pharisees complaining that He “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” This is reflected in verse 10 when Jesus states, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

While I am most grateful for these verses, my thoughts take me to the actual event that took place – in the flesh, so to speak. At that time ten silver coins was a lot of money. One coin was the equivalent of a day’s wage. This woman probably was not one of the poorest, however losing a day’s wage was still most significant. Today we receive our paychecks through direct deposit. But imagine for a moment when suddenly your take home pay decreased. You’d be on the phone with whomever to resolve the situation. Why, because you have bills to pay! This precious lady had no one to contact; no bank to call and no HR or payroll dept. with which to file a complaint. She could only depend on herself to look throughout her small home. Her perseverance and tenacity paid off. She found the coin!!! Instead of taking a much needed rest, she calls her friends together so that they might rejoice with her. Would we do the same thing today? Obviously our monetary system is different. But can we rejoice over a wrong made right, regardless of its size or scope; or would we spend most of our time kvetching about the evils that caused the wrong? It’s an interesting question to ask.

It will not come as a surprise that I love music. A few weeks back I heard the song “Same God” for the first time. Its words resonated within my spirit. I’m including just a few lines. Here is a link to the song on YouTube if you are interested in listening to it: https://youtu.be/yse43TUrces

I'm calling on the God of Mary

Whose favor rests upon the lowly

I know with You all things are possible

I'm calling on the God of David

Who made a shepherd boy courageous

I may not face Goliath

But I've got my own giants

You heard Your children then

You hear Your children now

You are the same God

You answered prayers back then

And You will answer now

You are the same God

You freed the captives then

You're freeing hearts right now

You are the same God

These words are a gentle reminder that the God of Mary & David, Jacob & Moses, the disciples & the early church is the same God of today and our tomorrows. May this coming year be an opportunity to be more aware (alert, cognizant & mindful) of the answers to prayers around us. It is easy to rejoice in that which is obvious: new marriage, new job, birth of child, once in a lifetime vacation, and the list can go on. However, do we overlook the not so obvious reasons for rejoicing which is taking place all around us and yet we’re too busy to notice? I hope not. The God who answered the prayers of the saints of scripture is still answering prayers today – both great & small. 

I the Lord do not change. Mal. 3:6

Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. Heb. 13:8

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