Read Psalm 126
Silence is kept for two minutes
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
5 May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.
Psalm 56 tells us poetically that the Lord stores all of our tears “in a bottle” keeping record of our suffering. The psalmist in Psalm 126 paints a picture of all of our sorrows as seeds, seeds of hope and joy. Advent is a season that does not dismiss our tears with tired platitudes or try to gloss over them with easy answers. Rather advent draws “the hopes and fears of all the years” into a single seed, Jesus. Jesus is God’s seed falling to the ground, the same ground that was cursed by Adam’s rebellion. But the seed of Jesus’ life doesn’t produce yet more thorns and thistles, he is “the seed of peace that produces a harvest of righteousness” (James 3v18).
Pray: God of peace. We place every unfulfilled hope, every traumatic experience, every unnamed longing in your careful hands. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, we have looked at the world through blurry eyes, our vision crowded by sorrow. Would you turn our weeping into dancing? Restore us. May our tears of heartache become tears of surprising joy. Restore us.