April 21, 2011

April 21: Get the tambourines out

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By Emma Brooks, a sophomore art major from Littleton, Colo.
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 31:1-6 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
Being tired makes me grumpy; not seeing the sun for several weeks only makes my mood worse. I didn’t realize how lucky I had it, coming from a place with 300 days of sunshine a year. A hectic schedule and bleak sunless days have been my “wilderness” as of late. When the sun shone and the temperature rose just recently, I suddenly realized that I had been irritable for weeks.

One dark winter night I went to a friend’s room to borrow something. We got to talking about how the winter seemed endless and we felt terrible. Soon after the mention of brownies and moms, we were all three on the floor crying and laughing in an inexplicable moment of pain, joy and togetherness.

There was no precise reason for the emotion; it was just everything. But in that moment I felt God’s unfailing kindness. I felt solidarity and that I was not alone. I am amazed by how incredibly compassionate is our God to bring us together for that moment.

God has said in the past, “I will build you up again,” and remains faithful. Despite our tribulations and disobedience, just like Israel, God loves us with an everlasting love.

I have continued to feel like I am being rebuilt. Recently I have felt the urge to “go out to dance with the joyful,” and I believe I am not alone in that joyful, silly feeling. God is showing us kindness in the sunshine, tulips and a friend’s warm greeting. So let’s get our tambourines out!

SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 31:1-6 (NRSV)
1At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. 2Thus says the Lord: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, 3the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. 4Again 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. 5Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy the fruit. 6For 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."

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Comments (7)

  1. A beautiful expression of God’s joyful interference in our lives. Perfect for many readers, I am sure. Easter Joy and Peace to you.

    Warren April 21, 2011 |
  2. Thank you so much for this p ost! As I sit here the wind is howling; the sky filled with heavy grey clouds, and the chickadees are struggling to eat at the feeder. Nary a bit of sun in sight! You speak to all our anxieties about the long winter. But..as we know, God is good; God is with us, and we are blessed.

    elizabeth Griffin April 21, 2011 |
  3. Emma, I love you! Let’s dance, girl! I’ll bring my tambourine….

    Heather April 21, 2011 |
  4. I loved this devotion this how we should be HAPPY FROM GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    bob April 21, 2011 |
  5. Thanks for your devotional! What a way to start the day!

    Ethel April 21, 2011 |
  6. Your open smile beams happiness. Thank you for this meditation of joy and friendship.

    marjorie April 21, 2011 |
  7. Your thoughts brought such happy feelings! Just as you described, those special moments with friends are priceless and God sent. He is so kind and generous in his love. I’m getting my tambourine out!

    Ruth April 26, 2011 |