The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me., because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings to the
poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening
of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all
To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, the
garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The
planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
I love these verses of the Bible. I especially love verse 3. It sounds like poetry to me. It is music to
my ears especially because I know what it’s like to live in ashes and ruin. There are so many ways
to describe devastation, loss, and hopelessness but ashes is a word that describes them well. All
your dreams and hope for the future; up in smoke. All the plans of your youth; scattered and gone
with the wind.
When that devastation is Huntington’s disease, those ashes can travel far. Scattering from the
generations behind you into the present and onward to the generations ahead. Sometimes, if you
are not careful, those ashes of dreams never realized, the pain of lives affected, and those that
have been lost are all you can see or remember.
The thing about ashes is that they represent complete destruction. Nothing remains of what used to
be. It is over or so it would seem.
Then we read Isaiah 61. These amazing verses of the Bible tell us that God gives us beauty for our
ashes. How can such a thing be possible?
It became possible when God sent us His Son.
Jesus used these same scriptures in Luke 4 to announce that He was the Messiah, the one they had
all been waiting for. He is the one who comforts us, who gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for
mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. He heals the brokenhearted and sets
the captives free! What Good News! The good news is even greater than this. God has given us
eternal life through His Son.
At Christmas, we sing praise to His Name, Emmanuel, God with Us. We call this season the season
of joy! We remember the miracle of Jesus and we celebrate - Beauty for Ashes! A world without
hope was given the beauty of Heaven’s greatest gift, waiting to be revealed as we open our hearts
This Christmas may we meditate on the Glorious love of our Savior. As we do, joy will be restored
and praises will be sung. Mourning and heaviness will be lifted and burdens will melt away in the
light of His Holiness and Love.
The beauty of true worship will arise out of the ashes of pain, heartache, and devastation. Suddenly
the ashes of our lives are no longer the most important thing, as Jesus becomes our everything. We
begin to experience the true meaning of Christmas: The awesome wonder of that great exchange –
His Beauty for our ashes.
May our hearts receive the grace of that great exchange this Christmas as we lay our ashes at the
feet of our Messiah – the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. He is the Beautiful Light and Hope of
|Wanda Marie Clarke's:
"The Butterfly Ball"
|© 2012 By Wanda Marie Clarke - All rights reserved