“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” - Zephaniah 3:17
As I was trudging along with wet snow giving under my steps as the sun shone full and bright against the Colorado blue sky and the fall ducks dodged ice floats in the canal, Jesus made me laugh. I had been walking and talking with him about the stuff of life, putting this time of sabbatical out to him and inviting him to do whatever he will to shape the direction and future. And splat. From the trees above he aimed a heavy, wet snow ball at my back … then my head … then my legs. I went a few steps further and he lobbed another one my way, teasing me from the weighty thoughts and ponderings to the joy of the moment. He was having a great time in the aftermath of the blizzard of the night before and thought I should too! That Jesus, the one who welcomed the children and no doubt sang the psalms with greatest gusto. That Jesus, the one walked among the desperate and hopeless and released them to life. In the midst of a world of chaos and pain and injustice, I found his reminder of life and joy.
That was a welcome gift as I have spent much of the last week or so preparing for an Old Testament “quiz” on the 7-8th century prophets. I’ve waded deeply into the judgments, woes, law of retaliation, broken covenant relationships, and the pounding of one after another of the judgments Yahweh brought on his people and the peoples around them. Their arrogance, pride, idolatry, and rote rituals rightly and justly were not acceptable to our holy God. As I look out at the events all around, locally and globally, I can’t help but see the same arrogance and pride of violent human beings hell bent on destruction and death.
And yet, there is hope. Healing. Redemption. Restoration. And a Mighty Warrior who saves, delights, rejoices with singing … and tosses snowballs at one of those he calls friend.