The readings for today make the point over and over: rejoice; share your joy; and in your joy prepare yourself for the coming of the Lord. His time is now, He is equipping us now, calling us now.
The first reading is one of my favourites, and in fact is something of a recurring theme in my life:
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, To announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God, to comfort all who mourn; To place on those who mourn in Zion a diadem instead of ashes, To give them oil of gladness in place of mourning, a glorious mantle instead of a listless spirit. They will be called oaks of justice, planted by the LORD to show his glory.
This passage is a reminder to be alive in every moment...to be aware of each little moment of joy. (Joy is quieter, deeper, more substantial than happiness; my joy is rooted in the certainty of God's love for me), and to share that joy with others. The Lord's anointing will bring glad tidings, healing, liberty, freedom, comfort, gladness. All these things He promises, and all these He gives, even amidst poverty, heartbreak, captivity, mourning.
We all experience hardships, trials and sufferings, but His promise is that we will also experience joy, renewal and healing. Today in particular is a day to remember that promise and rejoice in it. One thing that strikes me in this scripture, is that God will not just give us good things, He will give us what we need, in place of what we suffer. He is able to transform our ashes into diamonds, and surely that is reason to rejoice.