Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.
Food for Thought:
In this passage, the writer tells the people of God not to fear and not to let your hands grow weak. This is an interesting image. We are told that we are the hands and feet of Jesus here on this earth. There is a beautiful song entitled, “What Gift Can We Bring” by Jane Marshall. I want you to ponder those words today. 1 What gift can we bring, what present, what token? What words can convey it, the joy of this day? When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing, what song can we offer in honor and praise? 2 Give thanks for the past, for those who had vision, who planted and watered so dreams could come true. Give thanks for the now, for study, for worship, for mission that bids us turn prayer into deed. 3 Give thanks for tomorrow, full of surprises, for knowing whatever tomorrow may bring, the Word is our promise always, forever; we rest in God’s keeping and live in God’s love. 4 This gift we now bring, this present, this token, these words can’t convey it, the joy of this day! When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing, this song we now offer in honor and praise!
God of joy and exultation, you strengthen what is weak; you enrich the poor and give hope to those who live in fear. Look upon our needs this day. Make us grateful for the good news of salvation and keep us faithful in your service until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives for ever and ever. Amen.