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Midweek Musing - Wade In to Hope and Joy 12/6/23

The material we are using from A Sanctified Art to help us in our advent journey contains a series of poems I plan on sharing with you all as part of the weekly Midweek Musing. Written by the Rev. Sarah Speed, they are a reflection on each weekly idea that makes up our overarching theme of How does a weary world rejoice? This question is our advent worship and study question this season.

This last week in worship, as we recognized our weariness, we turned to the Biblical concept of Hope.

We heard that we need to remember hope so we can experience joy. Our Old Testament Lesson, which was included in the lighting of the first Advent candle, is of a weary people’s cry for restoration by God, along with the firm hope that this restoration would occur in some promised day to come.

Psalm 80

Prayer for Israel’s Restoration

To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm.

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,

you who lead Joseph like a flock!

You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.

Stir up your might,

and come to save us!

3 Restore us, O God;

let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4 O Lord God of hosts,

how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5 You have fed them with the bread of tears

and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors;

our enemies laugh among themselves.

7 Restore us, O God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved.

17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,

the one whom you made strong for yourself.

18 Then we will never turn back from you;

give us life, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved.

One commentator writes the following about this passage. “In the psalm text we hear the cry for restoration. This is a cry for restoration since our weariness has shaken our hope. The request in prayer form is to restore us, to let God’s face shine, and the outcome will be that we may be saved. This request is made three times in our selected text. A great professor once taught that if something appears three times in the sacred text, then it must be important. Restoration is important because amid weariness, there must be a light at the end of the tunnel. There must be a way to combat the weariness of the current times. There must be a glimpse of hope that helps to sustain us during the weary times and grants us the opportunity to rejoice.”

Friends, may we be vulnerable enough to wade into to our weariness and hopeful enough to know that “joy cometh in the morning.”

Wade In

By Sarah Speed

Over time

wind and water

will sand down the edges of a stone.

For humans,

our wind and water

is the grief of the world.

Stay here long enough

and pieces of you

will be pressed upon

by life’s never-ending stream.

It’s enough to make you weary.

It’s enough to make you question.

It’s enough to make you quiet.

And yet, the stream continues.

So do not be afraid to stand in that water.

Wade in. Soak the hem of your jeans.

Drip wet footprints through every room in your house.

Let the water stains tell your story.

And when your body grows weary of swimming,

name the stream.

Acknowledge your weariness.

For eventually,

you will pick flowers from

the opposite bank.

And over and over again, we’ll tell this story.

And over and over again,

a weary world will rejoice.

Blessings to you all in this Advent Season.



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