Reminders and glimmers of hope…

This morning I woke to sunshine, despite the fact that my Google device assured me that there was no sun shining! It definitely was shining! I wandered down stairs and got into my usual routine of cats, coffee, candles, the 3 C’s, note the cats come first or there will be a mutiny! While making my coffee I decided that rather than listening to the Pray as You Go App, that today I would listen to the morning service on Radio 4. I do that occasionally. ,y mind was partly on that and partly on the Covenant Service that I was going to lead.

After the prayers and hymns came the first reading; Isaiah 62: 1-5, I hadn’t even looked at the lectionary readings for this week, but my ears pricked up, I know, woof!) when I heard the first line read, I know it off by heart, it was a reading given to me as a promise many years ago, and one I return to, this morning it was particularly powerful for me to hear. Here it is:

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
    and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication shines out like the dawn,

    and her salvation like a burning torch.
The nations shall see your vindication,
    and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name
    that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,

    and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
    and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
    and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
    and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
    so shall your builder marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
    so shall your God rejoice over you
.

The images of bride and bridegroom had been problematic to read following my divorce, but today they came back to me with a different emphasis. The reminder that God will not give up, and has not given up on me was tangible! The verse that follows the passage verse 6 says this:

Upon your walls, O Jerusalem,
    I have posted sentinels;
all day and all night
    they shall never be silent.

I am conscious of having those sentinels surrounding me, people who have encouraged me, prayed for me and have pledged to continue to do so, a different version says they shall take no rest, I know I have folk from all over praying for me, the US, Australia and New Zealand are included, I am so grateful for this! Who am I to be called a crown of beauty, a diadem in the hand of the Lord? Well both nobody and me, when I was first given this about 30 years ago I was in a low place, feeling dejected and worthless and with very little self esteem. Now I know that we don’t go around cherry picking nice passages, and I also know that it is written about Zion, a whole community, and that the land itself is being spoken of, it was spoken at a particular time and to and for a particular place. That said I received it as a word for me ( yes very charismatic I know), and I continue to believe that sometimes the Holy Spirit speaks in this way, and who am I to dismiss it!

I needed the reminder and the reminder came, I am not rejected, I have not been forsaken, there is something more and something different for me to do, I have more to give. Anyone who has read my previous recent posts will understand how wonderful it was for me to hear those words this morning. I have been very down upon myself, questioning my worth, questioning my calling, questioning the institution of the church. I still am in many ways, but today I saw hope, heard the promise afresh and am quietly and slowly responding.

We sang “And Can it be” as a part of our Covenant Service this morning, I love that hymn, and often rejoice in the line “my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed thee” , I can’t say that today the heaviness of the chains of the last few months has lifted, but it certainly shifted, and a certain lightness has come in its place. I am thankful today for the reminder- All will be well!

The photo below was posted by a friend of mine this morning, ,and I asked if I could use it, because in many ways it captures the essence of all that I have tried to express, light is breaking through, the journey onward is possible.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Timm

About Sally C

How do I describe myself, I am not what I do, (I am a Methodist Minister), I am not who I am related to (I have 5 wonderful children, 2 lovely granddaughters and a grandson). I am a seeker truth, a partaker of life in all it's fullness and a follower, sometimes stumbling, sometimes celebrating of the Christian pathway. I seek wholeness, joy and a connectedness to all things through a deep reconciliation with the God whose love blows my socks off!
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