There shall once more be heard the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing “Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Jeremiah 33:10b-11

The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all. Titus. 2: 11  

There are many times of sadness in most of our lives. Certainly illness can happen to anyone. Some have chronic illness or sustain long term problems from injuries. Then, there is grief at the death of a close friend, or family member, whether sudden or expected, or whether a young person or older. For some, depression results – not just a brief time of depression after an event, something that will pass, but long-term with no end in sight. The entire world looks dark and gloomy; any thought of gladness, or singing is far away.  

Consider the people addressed by Jeremiah in our verses for today. Jeremiah is often said to be a prophet of gloom and doom, and much of his writings are that. The first part of verse 10 says there is desolation and despair in Jerusalem, and the streets are empty. Then there is the promise – God is good and once more there shall be joy and gladness. There will be happy weddings and happy songs. The people, all the people, will be singing praise to God.  

God is good, and gracious and brings salvation to all. Just as not all of the people in Jerusalem were so bad that the desolation would seem fair for them, neither are they all so good that God will restore their city and bring them home from exile. This is all through the grace of God, available to all. As we read in Titus, Jesus has come to us, as a human being, bringing salvation to all. We can all rejoice; we can all sing God’s praise.    

Faithful God, You have appeared with grace, bringing salvation to all.  Your steadfast love endures forever. You care for us in every time and place, through every joy, change, and hardship. How can we keep from singing our thanks and praise? We lift our voices with the choir of voices, giving thanks to you with gladness and mirth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Chris Gabel