Daily reading: Joel 2:12-13, 28-29
Monday December 5, 2016

Focus passage: 12 Yet even now, says the Lord,
    return to me with all your hearts,
        with fasting, with weeping, and with sorrow;
13 tear your hearts
        and not your clothing.
    Return to the Lord your God,
        for he is merciful and compassionate,
        very patient, full of faithful love,
            and ready to forgive. Joel 2:12-13

Joel begins by weaving a grim tale.  A swarming locust infestation eats everything in sight, leaving nothing behind which causes a domino effect of further devastation and destruction.   Joel then compares the locusts to the swarming Assyrian invasion, devastating and leaving a huge path of destruction.

After the invasion, after the destruction, after the mass deportation, after the return to the rubble, amidst the effort to rebuild, at a time when things seem to be finally okay, everything is not as it should be.
While the people are going through the physical motions, of rebuilding, of restoring their community, that have yet to fully return to God. 
Joel speaks of God’s longing that is mirrored in our own lives.  This longing comes from a place where we know that things are not as they should be.

Prayer: God, help me to fully return to you.  I open myself to join in your dream for shalom peace within myself and for my community and world.  Amen.


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