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A Liberating Feast

April 14, 2021

“With joy they celebrated the festival of unleavened bread seven days; for the Lord had made them joyful, and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.” Ezra 6:22

I love the Moravian Daily Texts as a devotional guide, as evidenced by my frequent use of them in this space. One thing that confounds me, however, is that verses are often reduced for unnecessary reasons. For example, today. The Old Testament passage was noted as Ezra 6:22 but only included a snippet the text: “the Lord had made them joyful.” I’m glad the Lord made them joyful, but I didn’t know what was going on. Why did the Lord make them joyful? How?

So, I looked up the whole verse and shared it above. What’s going on? What’s going on is that the people are celebrating the first Passover since their return from exile in Babylon. Back home in Jerusalem, a newly liberated people are able to eat the feast of liberation. As from Egypt, so from Babylon. God is the God who delivers. Eat and rejoice!

As we continue in this time of Easter, we rejoice in the liberation give to us through the crucified and risen Christ. No longer are we enslaved by sin. No longer are we exiled in death. Christ is alive! Alleluia! Rejoice!

I’ve written about joy lately, and I’ve written about its lack. We do not always feel joyful in and of ourselves, and that’s perfectly fine. But the Lord has made us joyful, and the Lord will do so again.

This morning, I shared the feast of the Lord’s Supper with four members of Grace. The five of us gathered in the sanctuary at Grace and heard God’s Word of deliverance and promise, of comfort and hope. We were few, but Christ was present. Alleluia! Rejoice!

If you’re looking for a way to receive Holy Communion, sign up for a Wednesday morning service. We gather at 9:00, and attendance is limited to 25 (it’s 100 on Sundays at 11:00). The feast is ready. God has delivered us. Rejoice!

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of joy, you come to us in our sorrow and grief, again and again. For those who sit in darkness, give a glimmer of hope. Keep the flame of joy alive. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: A feast. My last meal in Poland, August 23, 2019. That was a good meal.

From → COVID-19

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