In the Lord I'll be ever thankful,
In the Lord I will rejoice!
Look to God, do not be afraid.
Lift up your voices, the Lord is near,
Lift up your voices, the Lord is near.

from Communaute de Taizé

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Don’t fear, fertile land; rejoice and be glad, for the Lord is about to do great things! Don’t be afraid, animals of the field, for the meadows of the wilderness will turn green; the tree will bear its fruit; the fig tree and grapevine will give their full yield. Children of Zion, rejoice and be glad in the Lord your God, because he will give you the early rain as a sign of righteousness; he will pour down abundant rain for you, the early and the late rain, as before. The threshing floors will be full of grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and fresh oil.

Joel 2:21-24

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Before the start of each school year, I would be nervous about the year ahead of me. When I was in middle school, I worried about high school. When I was in high school, I worried about college – where I would go, if I would succeed, what I would major in once I was there.

The specifics of what I worry about has changed as I get older, but I still worry about what the future holds. There are so many unknowns, and it can be daunting. It is easy for me to get caught up in the “worst case scenarios.”

These words from Joel soothe my soul. God has been providing for the earth and its inhabitants since God created. The same God who provided grain, wine, and oil to ancient Israel is still providing for us.

When I stop to remember that, those unfounded worries start to fade away. God’s abundant gifts in my life become easier to recognize. I find it much easier to rejoice and be glad.

Michelle Terry

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Generous God, help me to see your abundance in my life today. Relieve any anxiety about the future by reminding me that you love me and provide all that is good. Amen.

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Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:16b-17

Michelle Terry

Michelle Terry is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In addition to serving Jesus, she enjoys spending time reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Advent Waiting: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence – Wondrous Love

David Burroughs

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