When Our Feet Will Be Set to Dancing
by Dan Kidd
The Lord, our God, is capable of turning mourning into dancing, poverty into plenty, and weakness and fragility into strength and certainty. Perhaps many of us have experienced the blessings of the Lord over these past several days of Christmas celebrations. We've eaten feasts at tables, seated by our beloved friends and family, and we've exchanged gifts of trinkets, toys, and socks. My hope is that this Christmas, in whatever way you spent it, was something of a taste of Kingdomly abundance and generosity for you and your loved ones.
But the reality is that not all of us were able to celebrate with loved ones this year; for any number of reasons. Some of us likely didn't have the type of feast or festivities we see in the Hallmark movies (though, perhaps we had our fair share of the drama). For many of us the empty seat at the table was especially void and sorrowful this year. Never mind that the world is full of those with empty bellies and too few clothes for these bone chilling nights.
Today is the 3rd day of Christmas, and we are reading together a passage from the prophet Jeremiah. In this passage, we encounter a proclamation about will and way of God's--a promise of what is, in part, and what will be, in full. As we've celebrated the remarkable event of God becoming human, to be with us and to redeem us, we are invited to take inventory of the blessings the Lord has poured out over us--blessings of love, hope, and his presence. In our mourning and longing for what isn't but should be, we consider the gift of our Messiah to be the best evidence that God will in fact gather all nations and people to himself, and set our feet to dancing again.
This is incredible news! For us, certainly. And for the world. This passage begins with this, "Hear the word of the Lord, you nations; proclaim it in distant coastlands." Indeed! God has come into the earth, become human like us, and has changed the world so profoundly that Heaven itself is breaking into the earth. And we can know and love this Lord. This is news worthy of shouting from the rooftops. Let us be God's people, and go tell it--this Gospel news--on the mountains, over the hills, and everywhere.
Because of Christ, we can pray something like this: "Lord, thank for being the answer to all of our needs and hopes. It is through you, in you, that we know Heaven and its riches. In our times of plenty and health, strike up gratitude in our hearts. In times of poverty and mourning, hold us and keep us near to you and fix our eyes on what you have accomplished and what soon will be. And loose our tongues, that we would bless the world around us with your Gospel."