Rejoice! You are blessed.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Here in Normal today, we are experiencing a heat advisory with the temperature above 90 and the humidity in that range as well; going to be a scorcher.  While I was living in Haiti it seemed like every day from April to October was a damned heat advisory day but they never used that term.  They would just tell me “Li fè chò jodi a” which translates that it is hot today.  How hot did it get?  How many beads of perspiration can you count on this girl’s forehead as she sits in the Lutheran school in Cap Haitian?  On some days it was so hot that the long sleeves of my shirt were ‘three shades’ with the cuff dripping wet, elbow engaged with traces of sweat and my bicep the last to surrender to the heat.  I am estimating that over 90 percent of the children in our schools have never experienced A/C or sat in a vehicle with A/C; you are blessed.  And being blessed, we should rejoice always and pray continually.  But the weeds of this earth will squeeze us into complaining as we adjust the thermostat instead of rejoicing when there is a heat advisory.  We have been blessed with yet another day to serve our Risen Savior; rejoice and pray continually.  Rejoice, you are blessed with abundant gifts and a lifetime to give them away.  A/C won’t bless this girl as much as a plate of rice and beans will.  I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers’ that were written by Laurentius Laurenti in 1700.

“Rejoice, rejoice, believers, and let your lights appear!  The evening is advancing, and darker night is near.  The Bridegroom is arising, and soon He draweth nigh; up, pray and watch and wrestle!  At midnight comes the cry.  The watchers on the mountain proclaim the Bridegroom near; go meet Him as He cometh, with hallelujahs clear.  The marriage-feast is waiting, the gates wide open stand; up, up, ye heirs of glory; the Bridegroom is at hand!  Ye saints, who here in patience your cross and sufferings bore, shall live and reign forever, when sorrow is no more.  Around the throne of glory the Lamb ye shall behold; in triumph cast before Him your diadems of gold!  Our Hope and Expectation, O Jesus, now appear; arise, Desire of nations, o'er this benighted sphere.  With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see the day of earth's redemption, that brings us unto Thee!”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

May God be with you…Jay