Be glad, thirsty desert: let the wilderness exult, and flower as the lily. And the desert places of Jordan shall blossom and rejoice; the glory of Libanus has been given to it, and the honour of Carmel; and my people shall see the glory of the Lord, and the majesty of God. Be strong, weakened hands and feeble knees. Comfort one another, fainthearted ones; be strong, fear not; behold, our God renders judgment, and he will render it; he will come and save us. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear. Then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the stammerers shall speak plainly; for water has burst forth in the desert, and a channel of water in a thirsty land.” (Is 35: 1-6, Septuagint-translation)

This is one of the prophecies read during the services of Theophany, on which we celebrate Christ’s coming to the river Jordan and being baptized there, at 30 years of age, thus inaugurating His public ministry for all of us, “for the life of the world.” The God-Man’s appearance in our midst; His immersion into the “waters” of our lives and continuous, sanctifying presence brings new life and productivity to our “weakened hands” and our “feeble knees.”

Today let me re-connect with Him, once again, and join the creative flow of God’s unifying, life-bringing presence in our “thirsty desert.” Thank You, Lord, for showing up in my life, again and again, to lead me out of the impasses of self-centered fear and self-reliance. “O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself and have enlightened the world, glory to You!” (Troparion-hymn of Theophany)


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