2 For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.
3 Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.
4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.
6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Isaiah 25:1-9 (King James Version)
This was the morning's Old Testament reading. I really loved the joy and gladness in it. The picture of God's love coming in as a cool, refreshing rain, banishing the desert heat really struck me this time. Also, I love the thought of there being just a brief, temporary darkness between us and God, one that someday will be destroyed so that we can fully rejoice (The NIV phrases that bit "On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations" which is an even more awesome way of looking at it. Death will be conquered indeed).
And, of course, there is the wonderful promise that "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces."
One thing I really love about going to an Anglican church is the morning readings. They often make me pay attention to a passage in a new way, or to reconsider a book I have not read in a while (Sometimes I love Isaiah, but I bogged down thoroughly on my last two read-throughs. Maybe I'll give the book another try. It really does run the gamut, and Isaiah, as I recall, has some of the most wonderful discussions with God).