Good afternoon everyone. Is it me, or does it seem forever since we last sat down to share a Wanderings? And this is the right season, since it is the Christmas song "I Wonder as I Wander" that gave this weekly e-mail its name.
This Sunday's sermon is Psalm 126. If you have you Bible close by, take a look at it.
Look at the words of joy this Psalm uses:like those who dream mouths was filled with laughter, tongue with shouts of joy, The Lord has done great things, we rejoiced, reap with shouts of joy, come home with shouts of joy
sounds happy, doesn't it? But also look at the words of sorrow:those who sow in tears, those who go out weeping
Then take a look at verse 1 and 4: they ask God to restore. You can only be restored after something has been lost.
In verse 1 the Lord had restored their fortunes, which means that they had once fallen upon hard times.
In verse 4 they ask God to restore their fortunes like the rivers of Negeb. Negeb was a dessert in which the rivers became dry, but in the winter there was rainfall that filled the empty river beds and turned the dry dessert into a blooming oasis.
Restore us, the people ask God, as you restore the dry riverbed. Restore us, the people say to God, like how the dessert looks after the winter rain.
This Psalm sounds like a joyful celebration of God, but it is steeped in a historical moment in which the people are not experiencing many blessings, and they are inviting God to restore their fortunes the way God has done before, they are inviting God to use their tears and sorrow as tears to plant a spiritual crop that will bring them shouts of joy and fulfillment of dreams.
Can you relate to this Psalm today? If so, how? Can the state and the country relate to this Psalm? If so, how? What are the ways you seek restoration through the Lord? What have your tears been planting? What joyful things can you imagine reaping from your tears if you hand them over to God?
May we all be blessed this week. May we all continue to grow in God's love.
Peace, Pastor G