”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,” (i.e., the “appearance/revelation of God”), when our Lord showed up at the River Jordan at 30 years of age, and subjected Himself to John’s baptism, thus inaugurating His public ministry for all of us. The eve of Theophany is celebrated today by NC-people, while those of us on the Older Calendar approach the celebration of another “theophany,” the Lord’s birth in Bethlehem. Both of these “theophanies” or “appearances” of the God-Man in our midst; His birth of a Virgin in a lonely cave in Bethlehem and His immersion into the “waters” of our material world, as well as His continuous, sanctifying presence in our lives, bring new life and productivity to our “weakened hands” and our “feeble knees.”

Is 35: 1-6, Septuagint-translationToday 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. “God is the Lord and has revealed himself to us. Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!” (cf. Ps 117: 27a and 26a)