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The Highway of Joy


WHEN GOD SHOWS UP


In the 1989 movie version of Pollyanna, Polly tells the minister that there are 800 glad texts in the bible. I think there are at least that. In fact, some scholars say there are 826. I think that Isaiah 35 is one of those glad passages. In fact, heaped down, pressed down and overflowing. One of the most beautiful passages in the whole of scripture written in poetic terms. In the middle of a life-threatening culture there is a need for God to show up.


Isaiah 35 describes when He does just that.


Can we claim these promises for today?

How do His kids navigate through the wilderness?

How do we stay on the path?

Can we do it with joy?


 

I have more questions than answers

I am just the storyteller


 

The Highway of Holiness


In the Prophet Isaiah's day special roads were built, usually elevated, above the surrounding countryside that only priests and kings could travel on.

On the highway that Isaiah describes we enter the realm of the sacred

It is more than a sacred day,

A sacred hour

It is a way of life

It may be what the early believers called

The Way

Holiness is a word that may feel uneasy

Lofty, threatening

Alien to our world

Mysterious and Mystical


At the center of this poem is the defining characteristic of God that makes him unique amongst the gods or religions of that day.

He heals the land and He heals the people

The Creator God


What does it look like when God shows up?



 

"The dessert and the parched land will be glad

The wilderness will rejoice and blossom

Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom

It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy

The glory of Lebanon will be given it

The splendor of Carmel and Sharon

They will see the glory of the Lord

The splendor of our God


Strengthen the feeble hands

Steady the knees that give away

Be strong, do not fear

Your God will come

He will come with justice

With divine retribution

He will come to save you


Then will the eyes of the blind be opened

And the ears of the deaf be unstopped

Then will the lame leap like a deer

And the mute tongue shout for joy

Water will gush forth in the wilderness

And streams in the desert

The burning sand will become a pool

The crusty ground will be bubbling springs

In the haunts where jackals once lay

Grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. /Isaiah 35



 

"Out of the Ivory Palaces

Into a world of woe

Only His great eternal love

Made my Savior go


In garments glorious He will come

To open wide the door

And I will enter my heavenly home

To dwell forever more." /Henry Barraclough

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