Isaiah 35:1-10

I remember the last place where I saw jackals. Their eyes shine in the night like a cat’s. Sometimes that is all that you can see, something watching you. Something with teeth watching you.
But God, when the haunt of jackals is replaced with a swamp, don’t you know what is in the swamp? Crocodiles? Teeth and scales and fastness. And mud that catches your feet.

But the land was dry. And all that could grow were things that fed off of others. And now there is abundant water, and not only the swamp. Now there are pools of clean water where you can drink and whet your thirst.
And I will guide you there. You can walk with me and follow the path I have laid out for you. Now the lions and the jackals will not come upon you, and you can walk in peace.

O God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

Do not fear, your God comes with vengeance and terrible recompense.
Do not fear?
Do not fear a God powerful enough to break forth in flooding waters, growing gardens and cutting a road in the wilderness? What splendor, what awesome power, what worth can I possibly bring to this?

And then God brings healing.
God brings healing to the four things that keep us from understanding and response. Eyes, ears, legs, and tongues are all made whole again. No more will there be deaf, blind, lame, or speechlessness before God. Because the waters of God have brought us joy.
Without water nothing can grow. Without our Lord to ransom us we will still be caught in our desert, and we will forget what the flowers look like. But the water will come and the world will blossom and all will rejoice in the glory of God.
Sighing will be replaced by singing.
Sorrow will flee away, and Everlasting Joy shall rest upon us.

Amen.

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