Rejoice….always?

by Elizabeth Esther

I couldn’t watch the news this past weekend. I’d caught glimpses. I picked up the newspaper. But for the most part, I couldn’t watch. Not again, not again, not again.

This past Sunday–this third Sunday in Advent–was called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “rejoice.” It takes its name from the reading of Philippians 4:4-6. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, rejoice…

But I could scarcely rejoice this past Sunday. Rejoice, how? Rejoice, why? Rejoice, always?

Surely not always.

By prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known before God.

This, this I could do. I could supplicate. I could offer my supplications. I could beg the supplications of others. And my God shall supply all your need…

Supply all our need?

Surely our need is too great today. Yet today, today is the day of salvation.

Look up.

Look at innocent suffering. Gaze upon it. See from His head, His hands, His feet–sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e’er such love and sorrow meet? Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

There is suffering that encompasses all suffering and there is death that is swallowed up forever.

Today God wipes tears from innocent eyes and folds innocent children into His embrace. Our Today is coming, too.

He will wipe the tears from all our faces and remove reproach from all these violent places.

And so we do not grieve without hope. We grieve with hope, we grieve with supplication, we grieve with prayer, we grieve–yes, we even grieve with thanksgiving.

Somehow, yes. We rejoice through broken hallelujahs. Somehow, yes. We rejoice through tears.

Somehow, yes. We rejoice always.

9 Responses to “Rejoice….always?”

  1. FlowerLady Lorraine December 20, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    Thank you for this post. It’s what I needed today. These words below bless me.

    “we do not grieve without hope. We grieve with hope, we grieve with supplication, we grieve with prayer, we grieve–yes, we even grieve with thanksgiving.”

    FlowerLady Lorraine

  2. Pat December 20, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  3. JessieLeigh December 20, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Beautifully said. This was so, SO close to home (20 min) that all I could do was flee to Mass on Friday. Because this is what we do– we run to our Father. May I say that, having been in Sandy Hook this week, this grieving WITH hope is amazingly evident in those who inhabit that beautiful town? It’s incredible, really, and something for which we CAN rejoice.

  4. Linda December 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    Wonderful post. Always touches a place within me. Please keep writing.

  5. Leah December 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Thank you for this brave and beautiful piece of writing. To look at suffering unflinchingly and still hope unashamedly, is, I feel, the heart of the “overcoming of the world” at the core of Christianity.

  6. Sarah Koci Scheilz December 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Elizabeth, absolutely. Beautiful words! I especially love this line: “Somehow, yes. We rejoice through broken hallelujahs. Somehow, yes. We rejoice through tears.”

  7. Diana Trautwein December 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    It is always a broken hallelujah, isn’t it? Thanks for this quiet, true reflection on how very mixed our emotions are during this particular holiday season.

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