Summary: Joy is not simply a thing of the past, but is stronger in us as a promise of the future. Isaiah 35:10 urges us to get ready for that joy.

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“Get Ready For Joy!”

Isaiah 35:10

Pastor Jim Luthy

What is it about us and nostalgia? We like to think back to more exciting times or more innocent times, ponder fond memories, sometimes just escape from the trials of today. Little pieces of cardboard with the picture of our favorite baseball players sell for thousands of dollars. Brady Bunch lunch boxes sell for hundreds of dollars. Ebay is a nostalgic gold mine! We must be crazy.

There is no time of year that causes us to reminisce like the Christmas season. We think back on Christmas traditions we enjoyed as a child, and it makes us either laugh or want to cry. Some think of Christmas’ when they received nothing and had nothing to give and find themselves thankful for what they have today. Others think of Christmas’ they enjoyed before their family broke apart or their child died and they become quite sad. I spoke to a woman just this week who said she will stay home for Christmas and cry because it is the anniversary of her mother’s death. While many of us run around saying, “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!” a lot of people find Christmas an annual reminder of painful memories and have very real reasons to say “Bah humbug!”

I like to reminisce, though. It normally brings back pleasant memories. I think back on days when my body was younger, stronger, and healthier and wish I could run up and down the basketball court and jump up to the rim as I once did. I think back on my favorite cartoons as a child or the carefree days of my youth when one of the girls would come up and say, “So-and-so likes you.” That kind of wistfulness provides a spark of joy here and there when our lives are in a rut. But looking backward for joy tends to leave us in that rut. Bruce Springsteen talked about in his song “Glory Days.”

I had a friend was a big baseball player back in high school

He could throw that speedball by you, make you look like a fool boy

Saw him the other night at this roadside bar, I was walking in, he was walking out

We went back inside sat down had a few drinks, but all he kept talking about was

Glory days well they’ll pass you by

Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye

Glory days, glory days

Well there’s a girl that lives up the block back in school she could turn all the boy’s heads

Sometimes on a Friday I’ll stop by and have a few drinks after she put her kids to bed

Her and her husband Bobby well they split up I guess it’s two years gone by now

We just sit around talking about the old times, she says when she feels like crying she starts laughing thinking about

Glory days well they’ll pass you by

Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye

Glory days, glory days

Now I think I’m going down to the well tonight and I’m going to drink till I get my fill

And I hope when I get old I don’t sit around thinking about it but I probably will

Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of, well time slips away

and leaves you with nothing mister, but boring stories of

Glory days well they’ll pass you by

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