Friday, February 12, 2021

FMF: Once

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.... so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid.” (Zechariah 8:4-5,15, NIV)

I've been thinking about mourning lately.  I didn't realize that might be strange until I just typed those words.  Mostly, I've been thinking that we (and when I say "we" I mostly mean "I") don't know how to mourn properly.  We don't let ourselves feel the depth of our pain, but, perhaps more concerning, we don't know how to move in an out of periods of mourning.

The prophet Zechariah spoke to the believers in exile.  I must admit, I have not studied the exile as much as I have studied some other periods of Biblical history.  However, I do know that the exile ended.  Eventually, the believers moved back to their beloved city and walked its streets once again.

The prophet promised that the return from exile would bring blessing to the believers.  Their times of fasting would become times of celebrations.  Love and justice would rule their city.  People would follow them to experience the same blessing they saw in the lives of the believers.

Seeing our streets filled once again may be a concept many of us relate to more than we did a year ago.  We long to leave the safety of our homes and begin to do life out in our home towns, to see the elderly with their canes, and to hear the young playing again. While I feel that longing for my physical life, perhaps I feel it more in my spiritual lives.

Oh, God, allow us to return from our spiritual exile and do not let us fear Your blessing.

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This post is a prompt from Five Minute Friday and was written in approximately five minutes.
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  1. Oh, those words: Once again. Lord, let it be.

  2. I never thought of that. That is such a good point to consider the exiles and Zecariahs words against our own kind of exile Loretta #6

  3. We have certainly been in an exile from our "normal" way of living. I have lots of blessing words and hugs stored up for friends and family when we next come together. Our time will be sweeter after this exile. Good post.

  4. Interesting perspective. Yes, we really are in exile. The social and physical part of the exile would be more tolerable if only we could come back from our spiritual exile. May we lead the way.
    Visiting from FMF#36

  5. I never thought of this strange time as a time of exile, but it is, isn't it? Separated from one another, from those we love, from doing what we enjoy, from going about freely. And yet ... God is enough. Thank you for wise words. FMF#37

  6. Love this post, and the way you compare these days of isolation to a time of exile.

  7. For some reason, your post put me in mind of the old Mary Hopkin song, "Those Were The Days".

    "Once upon a time there was a tavern..."
    so begins the song, 'Those Were The Days"
    in which singer laments that life's gone barren
    as bright young friends have gone their seperate ways,
    creating more than psychic isolation
    through passage of time's fast-declining sands
    to give a sense of growing isolation
    in these strange and coldly-straitened lands,
    but the tale's last twist steps forth, surprising,
    for despair is not the way it ends;
    in loneliness we still see hope arising;
    companions, although scattered, still our friends,
    and the last triumphal words remain,
    " our hearts our dreams are still the same."

  8. Thats a great insight. I never thought of that. In pausing and reflecting, I believe I too do not mourn properly, or know how. I'm going to have to further my knowledge. Blessings.
    Visiting from FMF#9

  9. "Oh, God, allow us to return from our spiritual exile and do not let us fear Your blessing." - Amen