Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away the judgments against you, he has cast out your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall fear evil no more. On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. ( Zephaniah 3:14-17 )
This passage! This is extravagant! Our Warrior King, God in our midst … the Son of a Father who addresses us as “daughters” and “sons,” who casts out our enemies!
Look at His love! Look how He comforts us, and with strength!
This is our warfare, my beloved friends! Look at this Warrior – this rejoicing, singing, renewing God! To think that hell is powerless against His joy! If only we would enter into it! He has taken away the judgments against us! Our enemies are cast out! That is our very victory! With what will the Accuser taunt us? How will he deter us? He has no hold over us when we go forth as God’s own, and we have Him in our midst as we go!
Warrior King! He stands … He sings … here and now, near and involved. Perhaps you have heard that the word “exult” in the last verse is such a powerful word that it cannot be contained with emotion alone … it is the word for dancing and twirling about ecstatically!
Oh, we are weak with love, as the Shullamite said in Song of Solomon, but our hands can bend a bow of bronze … it’s true! We can string a bow meant for the mightiest, because we are the mightiest, because we are in Christ, and He in us. Who lied to say that we are squirming and defeated when we are oppressed or sad or uncertain of the next step? We can FIRE arrows into the heart of the Lord’s enemies with every word of truth we speak, with every act of love we perform in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s do that together as we light our Advent candles tonight. Let’s let these realities flood up through our souls and out of our mouths … the tide turns on our praise! We are the mighty in the land, and as we go forth, He dances for joy!
photo courtesy of
Msgr. Charles Pope
Archdiocese of Washington