I will take you from among all nations;
and gather you from all lands to bring you home.
I will sprinkle clean water upon you;
and purify you from false gods and uncleanness.
A new heart I will give you
and a new spirit put within you.
I will take the stone heart from your chest
and give you a heart of flesh.
I will help you walk in my laws
and cherish my commandments and do them.
You shall be my people,
and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:24-28
We left Boston early to get out of the head of the storm. We made it to New York in great time. We woke up to at least a half of foot of snow on the ground. We have been on this long road trip to see our family and to spend a little time at home, surrounded by loved ones and traversing familiar territory, engaging landscapes where years of memories have been made. It is a time of gathering up, if just for a few days, a renewing of heart and spirit, a reconnection of love and life.
The passage from Ezekiel reminds us all that God is about gathering us together, drawing us back and giving us all a sense of home and belonging. In God's understanding and desire, we become real people, real family, gathered, cherished and loved. If we are feeling distress and loneliness, we are reminded that the Creator of all is always about gathering and loving, taking us under the wings and giving us new hearts of flesh. We are never alone, as God is always acting for us, healing our broken places and finding us a new home.
Today I ask God to help me trust the new heart I have been given. May we all live and act as those gathered together by God. May we know that moments of isolation and loneliness are not permanent, and that our loving Creator is renewing us all.