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Beauty in Place of Soil

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2024 8:00 pm

Beauty in Place of Soil

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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May 25, 2024 8:00 pm

One evening I noticed neat rows of soil in a vacant lot near my home. Each row contained small green leaves with tiny buds peeking out. The next morning, I stopped in my tracks when I saw a patch of beautiful red tulips sprouting in the lot.

The previous fall, a group had planted one hundred thousand bulbs in empty lots throughout the South Side of Chicago. They chose red to symbolize how redlining (lending discrimination by banks) had impacted neighborhoods where primarily minorities lived. The tulips symbolized the houses that could have been in those lots.

God’s people have endured many challenges—from being exiled from their homelands to discrimination like redlining. Yet, we can still find hope. Isaiah reminds Israel during a time of exile that God would not leave them. God would give them a “crown of beauty” in place of ashes. Even the poor would receive good news (v. 1). God promised to exchange despairing spirits with a “garment of praise.” All of these images evoke His splendor and would bring joy to the people, who would now be “oaks of righteousness” instead of dejected exiles (v. 3).

Those tulips also show that God can create splendor from dirt and discrimination. I look forward to seeing the tulips each spring, and more importantly renewed hope in my neighborhood and other communities.

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Hi there, and welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Our reading, titled Beauty in Place of Soil, was written by Katerra Patton. One evening, I noticed neat rows of soil in a vacant lot near my home. Each row contained small green leaves with tiny buds peeking out. The next morning, I stopped in my tracks when I saw a patch of beautiful red tulips sprouting in the lot.

The previous fall, a group had planted 100,000 bulbs in empty lots throughout the South Side of Chicago. They chose red to symbolize how redlining, lending discrimination by banks, had impacted neighborhoods where primarily minorities lived. The tulips symbolized the houses that could have been in those lots. God's people have endured many challenges from being exiled from their homelands to discrimination like redlining. Yet, we can still find hope. Isaiah reminds Israel during a time of exile that God would not leave them. He'd give them a crown of beauty in place of ashes. Even the poor would receive good news. God promised to exchange despairing spirits with a garment of praise. All of these images evoke his splendor and would bring joy to the people who would now be oaks of righteousness instead of dejected exiles. Those tulips also show that God can create splendor from dirt and discrimination.

I look forward to seeing the tulips each spring, and more importantly, renewed hope in my neighborhood and other communities. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Isaiah chapter 61, verses 1 through 3. The spirit of the sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Let's pray. Lord, help us to remember that you have promised to always be with us, even in our most dire circumstances. Thank you for reminders of your love that are all around us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. My name is Toni Collyer and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-25 20:29:54 / 2024-05-25 20:31:23 / 1

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