Have you ever waited for a day with such expectancy that you could hardly contain your joy? We endure the waiting time, knowing what is to come will overshadow anything that came before.

This kind of longing also shows up in our spiritual lives. During the season of Lent we wait for what we know is coming but is not here yet.

I invite you, as we endure the hard days ahead, to lean into the darkness before the light, sit with the sorrow before the joy, and relish the silence before the trumpets and Alleluias.

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All of you who are thirsty, come to the water! Whoever has no money, come, buy food and eat! Without money, at no cost, buy wine and milk! Why spend money for what isn’t food, and your earnings for what doesn’t satisfy? Listen carefully to me and eat what is good; enjoy the richest of feasts. Listen and come to me; listen, and you will live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful loyalty to David.

Isaiah 55:1-3

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In some Bible versions, this section of Scripture has been titled, “An Invitation to Abundant Life.” Who doesn’t want to know more about that?!

But the abundant life described here is contrary to what our world deems to be so. In Isaiah we find that everyone who thirsts is welcome — not just the popular crowd, the wealthy, or the lucky. Even those who have no money are invited to come and buy and eat.

We find here that abundant life does not come from what we buy. It does not come from constant worry about our problems or our money. God has already declared God’s love for us, and that is what leads to abundant life.

In a world that is constantly encouraging us to buy more and worry more, this is a relief. God doesn’t require those things from us to experience God’s love — that’s a promise already fulfilled and a promise that is open to everyone!

Katie Gilbert

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God, help me to not be so wrapped up in buying all the right things or in worrying about the future. Rather, help me to really experience your abundant life! Amen.

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God is teaching us.
We endure through so much—
through time, through pain,
through joy and sorrow,
sunshine and rain,
And sometimes the boring everyday.

But God is teaching us.
Love remains.
Mercy is wide.
Grace abounds.
The Alleluias are coming…

And God is teaching us.
Inviting all of us on the journey.
Enduring, overcoming,
growing, changing, becoming.

Katie Gilbert

Rev. Katie Gilbert currently serves as Director of Outreach and Invitation at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, AL. She enjoys spending time with her husband Matt, her 9 month old daughter Harper, and their crazy Boston Terrier Lennon. They love to travel the world, eat good food, and spend time with family.

Walking Toward Morning: Where Cross the Crowded Ways

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