Beauty for ashes
On one occasion when Christ went into a synagogue in Nazareth, he was handed a scroll of the book of Isaiah. He read aloud some verses from Isaiah 61 and pronounced:
“This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”Luke 4:21
Among Christ’s words in the chapter he quoted is the promise that He will…
“…give unto them beauty for ashes…”Isaiah 61:3
Ashes are a reminder of what we lost
At sometime(s) in everyone’s life, we can relate to feeling like everything has fallen apart. In these moments, so many things remind us of what was — a relationship, a job, a home, an opportunity…etc.
Similarly, ashes remind us of what was lost. They are a cold lifeless reminder of a warm and comforting fire, or of a beautiful thing that burned down.
I’m so glad Christ can give us beauty for these ashes! He can give us something even more beautiful than what we lost.
The Provo City Center Temple
Twelve years ago (December 17, 2010), my sister Emily and I woke up early in the morning to drive to California for Christmas. As we were driving down University Avenue, we passed the Provo Tabernacle and saw red light shining through windows and smoke rising in the air. We turned on the radio and found out that it had caught fire in the middle of the night!
The fire continued until all that was left were the outer walls. Everything else was ashes.
I had attended several church and community meetings in this building.
During the October 2011 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson announced that the tabernacle walls would be preserved and the building would be rebuilt to become a holy temple!
Beauty for ashes
My recent HWN has come in reflecting on the kind of beauty that Christ can give us for our ashes, making of us and our circumstances more than we can ourselves.