1At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
2 Thus says the LORD:
The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
3 the LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
Again you shall take your tambourines,
and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5 Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
and shall enjoy the fruit.
6 For there shall be a day when sentinels will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
“Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the LORD our God.”
With Christ, we find grace in the wilderness. The wilderness may be of our own making — a tough Lenten discipline, perhaps, or a set of consequences of choices we now regret. It may be a wilderness of the spirit that has been with us for too long. Or the wilderness may be a challenge that has come up in our lives, a difficult time that God has allowed to happen.
Easter is a time of celebration. A time to take up our tambourines and go forth in the dance of merrymakers.
We can celebrate the end of a challenging discipline. We can find the strength in Christ’s resurrection to give up the personal wilderness of the spirit that we have been carrying with us. But we can also celebrate in the midst of a challenge that will continue.
Christ is risen.
As believers in Christ, we have the sure and certain hope that we inherit this new life from Christ. This lets us celebrate, regardless of our circumstances.
He is risen indeed.