The devotion for Monday, the third week of Advent, comes from Michael Hoy's, "Light of Grace: Devotions for Advent."
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isaiah 35:10 NRSV
A dear Christian elderly couple, as they ended each day's journey, would say to each other, "Well, we're this far." It didn't matter whether it was coming back from the store with a trunkload of groceries or finishing a long trip - the phrase was always the same. In their faithfulness to Christ, they realized that all of life's journeys, and especially the final journey in life, lead us home to God above - and that is cause for joy. The words "Well, we're this far" now appear on their tombstones. I'm sure it is cause for grateful celebration, not only for those who loved them so but even among the angels in heaven.
The prophet speaks of "joy and gladness" in the same breath with "sorrow and sighing." These latter words are signs of the ongoing darkness that always accompanies us on our journeys in life. But Christ accompanies us in our journeys and finally overcomes all our sorrow and sighing. In fact, Christ called for rejoicing when a shepherd lifts a lamb upon his shoulders or a woman finds a coin in a darkened room or a prodigal returns home to a joyous welcome (Luke 15). Even the angels in heaven rejoice. So also with Christ, each day, we rejoice, we laugh and we say, "Well, we're this far!" For we know where the journey leads, and it is always cause for joy. Let these words of "Amazing Grace" wash over you: "'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, / And grace will lead me home."
Lord, lead us to sing and celebrate with everlasting joy as you accompany us home to the great day of joy and gladness. Amen.