I'm starting this blog on Ash Wednesday, so I thought I'd title it "Ashes to Beauty" in reference to a favorite scripture in Isaiah 61 (1-3).
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion —
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
The purpose of this blog is to facilitate Bible study and conversation among my circle of sisters in Christ. It's a way to get us together when we aren't able to physically be together.
This could last two days, or it could last longer! We'll see!
It's interesting that the song to which the LORD has led me as a theme for this season in our church life is "Carrier," which quotes the Isaiah scripture above. We know that in Luke 4 Jesus proclaimed this scripture was fulfilled in him. I am earnestly praying that the LORD will birth in all of us a fresh passion for participating in this mission - preaching the good news, binding up the broken-hearted, comforting those who mourn, and I could go on repeating the whole scripture! These things are on my heart afresh this week as the precious students at our high school are walking through a valley of great sorrow.
I am reminded of a transcendent moment in the LORD I experienced several years ago in Yellowstone National Park. We traveled through many acres of forest devastated by fire - charred stumps and ruin. Yet flourishing anew amid the ashes were glorious flowers. It was such a vivid display to me of how the LORD brings beauty from ashes. He certainly has done so in my life!
So. Has the LORD created beauty from ashes in your life?
Have you had any transcendent moments with God?
Have you had the opportunity recently to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor?
Please share your thoughts with me.
Blessings - Kimberly