Pause

Joy is elusive. Just when we think we have found it, joy can be snatched from us in a single moment. Despair threatens to take its place and we find ourselves searching again for meaning.

In times like these, it is as important as ever to seek the quiet, to wait with anticipation that joy will return. These next moments hold the promise of just such a time.

When you are ready, click on “The Word of God” below for today's scripture and then continue to follow the remaining steps of the devotion.

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Listen

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak.

Zephaniah 3:14-16

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Think

As we wait for the shouts of angel song, sometimes our fear threatens to overwhelm us. Though we want to be people who live with joy, fear snakes its way in when, in an instant, the most innocent among us become victims of violence, when going to school is dangerous, and when our expectations of strangers become evil and violence instead of kindness and compassion.

All of these things and more can make us people who grapple daily with crippling fear. With such fear in our lives it’s tempting to forget that we are waiting for Messiah, the one who comes to quell our fears and heal our hearts. Zephaniah had words for the Hebrew people, who were living in constant fear of their enemies. He reminded the people, “The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst. You shall fear disaster no more.” Perhaps today these words are for us, too.

Amy Butler

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Pray

Wipe away the fear that hangs over my life today, and help me to live with courageous expectation of your coming. Amen.

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Go

Move quietly now through your day.
Joy, peace and hope remain.
Seek out the company of friends,
Remind yourself that God is near,
And allow small moments of joy to return
For the healing of your heart.

Amy Butler

Amy Butler has served as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. since 2003. In her free time Amy loves to travel, read, garden, and write. She often comments on faith and life in general on her blog, Talk With the Preacher. You can also read her columns every two weeks on Associated Baptist Press. Amy lives with her family in Washington, D.C.

Wexford Carol - O Come Little Children

David Burroughs

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