10"Thus says the LORD: In this place of which you say, 'It is a waste without man or beast,' in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again 11the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD:
"'Give thanks to the LORD of hosts,
for the LORD is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!'
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.
English Standard Version
This passage from Jeremiah speaks to us today, who dwell in the area we call the Four Corners, the Colorado Plateau. This is a land of incredible diversity and beauty. It is a land of the ancient and the new. A place where many cultures and people groups meet, sometimes in conflict, though more recently, we are pursuing a better way. Some of us are descended from those who were oppressed, and some are descended from the oppressor. All of the history of this place has brought us to this point in time.
In Acts 4: 24-31, we read the story of the disciples praying together for more boldness in the proclaiming of the Gospel. It is most interesting that they quote Psalm 2 in their prayer. David understood, and the early Church understood, that Yahweh is a God with a predestined plan, and all the schemes and devices of men cannot help but fall in line with that plan.
It seemed that all the then known powers of the world, Pilate and Herod, representing governmental authority; and Israel and the Gentiles, representing religions and philosophies, were coming together in one accord against Christ, the Anointed One. God, however, had a plan. As David said they plot in vain. Only a sovereign God could have assembled all these in that place at that time and accomplish the greatest work ever; i.e. the conquering of Death and Hades; the disarming of all rulers and authorities; the redemption of mankind; and the” bringing in” of the Kingdom of Heaven.
So it is in the Four Corners today. We have all been gathered for such a time as this, were the words that Mordecai spoke to Esther. Please, let us not overlook all that Mordecai spoke: “13Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, "Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"” Esther 4 ESV
Jeremiah 33:10-11 mentions the word voice five times. Two summers ago, our good friend from the UK, Godfrey Birtill, came and gave us a word. That word is, that the land has a voice and we are that voice. However we came to be here, we are here and we have the choice to remain silent and miss the work that the Lord has already begun in our midst, or like Esther and the disciples in the Book of Acts we can choose to use our voice and begin to lift up and proclaim Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the kingdom in this land; freedom for the captives, sight to the blind, the binding of the wounds of the broken-hearted, comfort for those in mourning, and relief to the oppressed, the justice of the King and His Kingdom.
May we raise our voices in the song of the land, and sing it over the land and its inhabitants. May we say yes to such a time as this, and may we be so bold as to pray for boldness. Truly then all will come into the house of the Lord, the living temple, His Church and sing:
“Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”