Advent 2018 – Day Three – Don’t worry be happy
As I reflected on todays passage the song Don’t worry be happy came to me.
“In your life expect some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy, be happy now”
In the midst of terrible turmoil a vision of the future is provided to Isaiah to assure the people of God that they are not abandoned.
As the song says we cannot go through life without any troubles.
I am sure, like me, you have all suffered sleepless nights worrying about things which are happening in your own or a loved ones life. In my own experience, the reality of this is that it solves very little and just makes you tired and weary.
We are called to release our worries and fears and to trust in God that he will guard us and provide for us. Although this is easy to say it is, naturally, far more difficult to actually do! Releasing our worries and concerns to God is a challenge and perhaps a discipline that we should all work at.
By this I do not mean that we should be falsely jolly but rather that we should seek God’s reassurance and his willingness to hold us in his all embracing love as we struggle with the troubles of daily life.
On this the third day of Advent we remember that Jesus came to bring healing and wholeness to the world.
Bible Passage: – Isaiah Chapter 35(NIV)
Joy of the Redeemed
The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
If you have some sand and some marbles available. Wet the sand and place some in a saucer or plate. In the sand draw a path and place along it a few marbles gently roll some of these marbles away from the path as a symbol of you passing your troubles to God.
By leaving them adjacent to the path we acknowledge that troubles do not disappear but that with our trust in God we are able to cope with them through the gifts of family, friends and our support networks as well as through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Prayers and Reflection
Hymn: Singing the Faith – “Father I place into your hands”
“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come”.
Let us pray together.
Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,
Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,
Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.
Listen for God’s voice in the quiet of your prayers.
Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.
Loving God we thank you that you are ever present in our lives. In times of joy or sorrow you are always there. Amen.
.Lord, we pray that in the season of Advent we will discover the water that gushes forth in the wilderness. As we travel with you we find streams of refreshing that renew and revive us. Let us be filled to overflowing with joyful energy and enthusiasm to make us ready for your coming again. Amen.
We place into your hands the cares and concerns of our lives.
By your stength and power help us to trust in your healing ministry which restores our wholeness. Help us be strong and fearless.
We hear you say, “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.”
What seems impossible is made possible by you.
What it seems I cannot bear, You gently carry me through.
When I lack courage you help me to be bold and confident.
When life feels just all too much, You say, “Be open to me and I will guard you.”
We pray that we may approach this Christmas time filled with joy eagerly awaiting the saving grace of your love.
May we leap and dance in celebration. Let us raise our voices in the Advent hymns and songs which prepare us for your coming.
We pray that the dreams of the prophets will be fulfilled, so that our lives and your world will be filled with love and peace,.