With the exception of a broken kitchen pipe in 2004, we have often said that it is nice to go on vacation but even better to come back home. What can bring about that kind of feeling? It is a return to safety, security, and familiar settings. It is a return to a place of comfort.
The psalmist in this passage is talking about the return of the Jews from captivity and exile. They were permitted to come back home, back to a place of comfort and safety. How are these returning exiles described? How did they react? What did others say about them?
This is an event that happened hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, yet these words can describe the present-day believer in Jesus Christ. Our exile is a life of sin and hopelessness. Our exile is fearing that there is nothing for us but the struggle of life in this world.
When we realize the importance of the profound gift of Jesus and the salvation he brings, then we too can be like the returning exiles. We can feel as if life is a dream when we recognize the importance of what Jesus is to each of us.
Our mouths can be filled with laughter and songs of joy when we know in our hearts that God loved us so much he gave His Son to us so that we might be reconciled to Him. We are brought back to a place of security and comfort, brought back into the presence and mercy of our God.
Christmas is a time of joy for all of us when we see that we are returned to everlasting life through the gift that was given in Bethlehem.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Take time this holiday to thank God for bringing you back to a safe place.
This will be our last 10/2 Grow for 2007. We will resume during the first week of January 2008 when we begin a series looking at the Fruit of the Spirit – based on Galatians 5:22. It is our sincere desire that all of you have a happy and blessed holiday.