“But you, O mountains of Israel, shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to my people Israel, for they will soon come home. For behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. And I will multiply people on you, the whole house of Israel, all of it. The cities shall be inhabited and the waste places rebuilt. And I will multiply on you man and beast, and they shall multiply and be fruitful. And I will cause you to be inhabited as in your former times, and will do more good to you than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 36:8-11
You call yourself Living Water in a desert land where every drop of rain is a priceless commodity as the sun beats down like a fire ablaze. Stagnant water will not do for cleansing and purification. You flow through the mighty Jordan and fill the Sea of Galilee with brilliant aquamarine waves. Life is found in your unceasing renewal and refreshment.
You call yourself the Light of the World in this land where the finest olive oil was produced in Galilee. It was said that Galilean oil was good enough for the temple and you, rooted in this humble region, brought your brilliance to eradicate darkness from our world.
You are the Rock in a land where mighty ancient boulders still stand, where time and temperatures cannot compromise the rugged peaks and steadfast hills guarding this region. You are the everlasting Rock in this place of impenetrable fortresses, Hezekiah’s tunnel, and Mt. Moriah’s permanence, connections throughout the pages of Scripture that stand like an unbroken wall of stacked stones.
You are the Restorer in this land of date palms in the desert, vineyards in the valleys, fields of dancing sunflowers, orchards of avocado and banana trees, farms flush with peppers, melons, strawberries. The barren countryside has been reborn; life brims from every honey-toned wheat field and eye-catching jacaranda tree. The desolate places blaze, bloom, flourish. You are making all things new in your Land of Promise, just as you predicted through your prophets of old. What they saw dimly in the distance, we see in living color.
As King, Shepherd, Savior may your name resound throughout this land and reverberate like pealing church bells awakening the barren landscapes and fruit laden fields. As the Living God, may your brilliance transform every dingy, colorless corner of our world!
Elizabeth A Mitchell