“The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.” Matthew 15:31
When was the last time that you celebrated? When was the last time that you clapped your hands, lifted your arms and joyfully screamed as loud as your blood pressure would permit? The last time I experienced this type of celebration was when I witnesses the No. 4 Nebraska volleyball team beat the No. 1 Illinois volleyball team from the Coliseum in Lincoln. I don’t ever recall screaming ‘Praise the Lord!’ at the top of my lungs after I had received Holy Communion; that should take place every Sunday but it never has. Too often we celebrate the events of this world that are trivial and that only lasts for a brief moment in time. We applaud sports teams, political candidates and social celebrities but not Jesus; it is not politically correct to do that. Next Sunday take a moment to glance at His children returning from receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion. If you were a visitor, would receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus seem to be a moment of joy to the communicant or a time of sadness?
While living in Haiti one of my favorite times was visiting the Lutheran churches and schools throughout Haiti. The attached photo was taken in 2001 in the Les Cayes district at the school in Chambellan. At that point in time, there was a concrete footing with rebars pointing to the sky and that was a promise that a sound structure would be built one day soon. As the camera was being prepared to capture this moment in time Pastor Isidor would always encourage the people to celebrate this moment and should say ‘Beni Soit L’Eternal’ (Praise the Lord) and lift their hands in celebration; a moment of joy, a moment of celebration. Every time a school child raises a heaping spoonful of manna to their mouth that was filled by a Trinity/HOPE donor like you a ‘Beni Soit L’Eternal’ is celebrated. Isaac Watts wrote the words to the hymn ‘Joy to the World, the Lord is Come’ in 1719 and this hymn should be sung more often than just at Christmas. Celebrate what the Lord has done for you today!
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare Him room and heaven and nature sing. Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ, while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy. No more let sins and sorrows grow nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.”
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