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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2014
(Part 43)

COURAGE AND JOY

May 31, 2014
Feast of the Visitation

Today’s readings:
Zephaniah 3:14-18
Isaiah 12:2-6
Luke 1:39-56


After the restoration of 2007, our 2008 theme, joy in Christ, was taken from Zephaniah 3:17. Then our 2009 theme, trust in Jesus, was taken from Isaiah 12:2. Today’s readings revisit these themes and verses. One message that weaves through the readings is being unafraid. “Do not fear, Zion, do not be discouraged!” (Zep 3:16b). “I am confident and unafraid.” (Is 12:2b).

Why? Because “the Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior” (Zep 3:17a). “For the Lord is my strength and my might, and he has been my salvation.” (Is 12:2c). Our life and work is all about the salvation we have in Jesus. This is the most important aspect of God’s having visited us, that he won for us our salvation. Thus this is the most important aspect of our work and service to Him, to proclaim that salvation to all. We are to “acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name. Sing praise to the Lord for he has done glorious things; let this be known throughout all the earth.” (Is 12:4b-5). We are to do the work of worldwide evangelization.

This is glorious work, this is participating in divine work, and so we do not do this work grudgingly, but with great joy. We rejoice at the great privilege. “Shout for joy, daughter Zion! sing joyfully, Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, daughter Jerusalem!” (Zep 3:14). “With joy you will draw water from the fountains of salvation .... Shout with exultation, City of Zion” (Is 12:3,6a).

Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visited Elizabeth. She proclaimed Jesus the Savior and rejoiced in doing so. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Lk 1:46-47). But the joy is not only for us, but for all those our work will touch. Elizabeth was overjoyed, and even “the infant in (her) womb leaped for joy.” (Lk 1:44b). But most importantly, God Himself rejoices. The Lord Himself “will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, who will sing joyfully because of you” (Zep 3:17b).

This is what it means to be empowered to witness. We are not afraid, we are not discouraged, we trust in Jesus, we rejoice. We go forth confidently knowing that we are doing God’s will.

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