“1 The word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying: 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. 3 Thus says the LORD: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts shall be called the holy mountain. 4 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. 6 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the LORD of hosts? 7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; 8 and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.” NRSV
Salvation comes in many forms. For the people living in exile, it came as a return “home,” to a time when old men and old women could sit and age gracefully on the streets of Jerusalem. And the city streets were filled once more with the laughter of children.
For others it’s the certainty of adequate food, shelter, safety, and the restoration of human dignity. For still others its new life through sobriety; or hearing the words “I love you” never before heard; or hearing the oncologist say, “You are cancer free!”
Salvation comes when hope defeats despair, faith conquers fear, and, most importantly, when we let hope and faith ground and guide our lives.
In every example above there was something that came into these peoples live that turned their lives around in ways they had started to believe would never be possible. That “something” is what God brought into the world with the birth of the baby Jesus. The Spirit of God in him brought love, compassion, grace, mercy, kindness, an indomitable spirit, and hope wrapped in the swaddling cloth called faith back into the world.
We just need to claim it and live it!
Be a blessing to someone today!