Psalm 118:24 (NRSV) “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Every morning I declare, “This is the DAY that our God has made”…usually as I begin preparing for my day, rejoicing another day, awake…alive…and glad! Even if I feel ill, sad, anxious, angry, depressed….I insist on starting my day, declaring out loud… this is a NEW Day…which God has made…one of New Hope and Promise for rejoicing and being glad. Using it as a healing mantra and verbal balm for my soul.
The year 2018 has been hard for my personal and church families….we have experienced a lot of transitions: saying good bye to loved ones, some moved to new locations, and others transitioned to eternal life from this physical realm. Not to mention the current climate of division and hate in our country and the world.
One of those who we said goodbye to was my 90 year old mother in law, who I thought would live forever. Her swift and unexpected death from a brief illness shook us. It is interesting that many we have lost have been people advanced in years….in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. And, for the most part, they each lived full lives. Most were aware of their own mortality; they knew their time on earth was coming to an end. They inspired me to live the NOW, fully in Christ every day. They reminded me that otherwise one ran the risk of regret: a regret that robs of us being fully present in God’s precious creation. My husband and I were fortunate to have the chance to let Mom know of our love and gratitude even at her deathbed. We took the moment of NOW…rejoicing and being glad for the days God made for us to spend with Mom before she passed.
Jesus reminds me there is no guaranteed tomorrows for our lives (Luke 12); our faith and hope lies with God who provides for our today and our tomorrows. We are encouraged to live our trust today, by loving our neighbor as if this is our last day…each and every day. Jesus urged us to share, encourage, forgive and love all our neighbors no matter who they are, where they come from, the color of their skin, sexual orientation, gender identification, belief systems or lack of, their languages, customs, etc. I believe we are to live our days to the fullest in the Love of God taught to us by Jesus. Teachings which gives us the strength and courage to find the JOY of life during uncertain times of personal and global pain and tragedies. Jesus’ example helps us to persevere in our own hope in God with all things even as he was stretched out on the Cross. Jesus showed compassion and love to those next to him. During our own moments of crucifixions of despair, we can still be the shining light of God’s Love to those who may need it the most….those beloved that are ready to give up and lose hope, including ourselves. As Christians we are called to offer hope by our actions as redeemed Children of God, living the greatest commandments: To love God with our whole hearts and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Matt 22:36-40; Mark 12:33) We do this by proclaiming boldly “This is the Day”!
So my dear beloved friends, claim this day! Yes, this is the Day our Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it AND if this happens to be the DAY our Christ we meet? Let us then say we will gladly rejoice and embrace Jesus Christ when that day comes. Amen!
Prayer: this is a NEW Day…which God has made…one of New Hope and Promise for rejoicing and being glad. Amen.