a joy that comes from restoration

image by bykst

Dear God,

May this morning bring us assurance of the eternal joy we have in you.  In the midst of this advent season, among all of the displays of our world we’re given a message of joy.  Bright colors and catchy songs pervade our lives and tell us we should be happy.  Yet even the coming of Christmas doesn’t end our worries in this world.  We lift our troubles before you this morning God because as much as we try to hide our suffering behind polite smiles we need you in our lives and in our world.  We pray for the day when polite smiles aren’t needed and we beam with a joy that comes from restoration.

Until that day God may we seek your will and strive to live out all of the goodness that is in us through the grace and goodwill of your Son, Jesus.  In all of our troubles remind us that God is with us.  As we prepare ourselves for Christmas and remember the birth of Christ, help us to draw strength from the knowledge that just as you entered the world through a baby to draw us close to you, that we may continue to allow Christ into this world through us.  You have done great things for us Lord, and we are filled with joy.  Amen.

Steven Turner, High School teacher in Virginia



When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

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