Words of Worth

What a Parade!

December 20, 2013

imagesChristmas already?   How can it already be the last weekend before Christmas?  Wasn’t it just yesterday we were watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade?

Here in America, the Christmas season is offically “kicked off” by the annual Macy’s parade.  For the last 87 years the Emmy award winning tradition (there are Emmys for parades?  Who knew?) has been seen by 3.5 million people in New York City and an additional 50 million via satellite and cable television.  The floats and bands are always exciting but the part of the parade people anticipate the most happens at the very end.  Santa Claus in his sleigh is the very last showpiece in the miles long train of balloons, dancers, and pop music stars.  When you see Santa bringing up the rear, you know it’s time for Christmas.

This week in my Advent devotional reading, the assigned passage was Isaiah 35.  Now I have to admit I’m no prophecy expert.   All I can say for sure is that some prophecies were fulfilled, some are yet to be fulfilled and some are both.  Yes, that’s all I can say.  But as I read Isaiah 35, I kept picturing a parade!

“A highway will be there, a roadway,

 and it will be called the Highway of Holiness.

The unclean will not travel on it,

but it will be for him who walks that Way…

And the ransomed of the Lord will return

and come with shouting to Zion

With everlasting joy upon their heads.

They will overtake gladness and joy,

and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”  

Isaiah 35:8,10

A parade???  Take a closer look – there’s a roadway and people are on it.  Not just anyone, but the one who “walks that way”.  The New Living Translation says, “It will only be for those who walk in God’s ways”.   And what are these people doing on this Highway to Holiness?  They are shouting with great joy!  Everlasting joy is upon their heads.  Well, that’s better than a funny hat!

But here’s the part that pulls at my heart.  The people on this parade route will overtake gladness and joy!  They aren’t waiting to see gladness and joy bring up the rear of the parade.  Gladness and joy have gone on ahead and the redeemed of the Lord can see them and they are following hard after them.   While everyone is intent on catching up to gladness and joy, look who gets left behind.  Sorrow and sighing….

Makes me think of the old gospel song, “No more sorrow there, we are going to see the King!”

As you enter the final week of the Advent Season looking forward to Christmas, how about getting off the sidewalk and joining the parade?   Someday we will see the King just like those shepherds saw that precious baby.  Instead of saying ‘it’s Christmas already” with sorrow and a sigh, look forward in hope and catch sight of gladness and joy and let real Christmas reign in your heart.  (ct)

“The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!”   Psalm 126:3

 

 

 

 

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