Scripture: Psalm 126 (NIV)

When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes,LORD, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

Among fans of a certain age, the Special Editions of the original Star Wars trilogy incites much debate and some gnashing of teeth. The Special Editions, for those of you unaware, were the copies of the movies that came out 20 years ago, not only with effects cleaned up and sharpened (which probably would have been fine) but with new footage added via the magic of computer generation. (Many fans around my age often claim they’d like to see the movies in their “unspoiled” glory, since those versions are not available to purchase anymore. I still have my originals on VHS, but unsurprisingly have no way to play them!)

One of the additions was at the end of Return of the Jedi. The second Death Star has been destroyed, the Empire has been routed, and it seems that the Rebellion has won not only the day but perhaps the war. Originally, there was just scenes of celebration on Endor with the Rebels and the Ewoks, but in the special editions there were scenes added of celebration around the galaxy on planets we were familiar with, whether it was Bespin or Tatooine or even the capital world of Coruscant, making its debut on film. We saw the citizens of the galaxy celebrating the downfall of the Empire.

We have plenty to rejoice about as well. Sometimes it may not seem like it, but there always is. We have a God that loves us, that cares about us, and that has provided eternal life for us. He has given us glorious sunsets, beautiful sunny days, even the power of a thunderstorm. Variety is the spice of life and the Lord has given it to us in abundance. There is so much for us to rejoice over!

Let’s not wait until a major event occurs to praise His Name. That’s something we can do in various ways each and every day. May your mouth be full of laughter and your tongue sing songs of joy!