An Advent Journey: When God Became Small — Day Sixteen


Psalm 126, NRSV

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dream.

Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
    and our tongue with shouts 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 rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
    like the watercourses in the Negeb.

May those who sow in tears
    reap with shouts of joy.

Those who go out weeping,
    bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
    carrying their sheaves.

This is one of those psalms that sings into my bones. Though there is evidence in these words of lost fortunes and weeping, the melody line is one of thanksgiving, of promise.

Even amidst the necessary lament, the loneliness of waiting and the muted, darker colors of Advent (did you know that Advent colors are dark blue and purple?), there is always a beautiful breath of light and hope. 

And here, in this song, is an image of harvest: seeds and sheaves.

And that picture of the seed, falling into the ground and dying to bring forth glorious new life — that’s one I want to hang onto this Advent.

That’s a picture worth looking at, again and again.

Thank you for this song, Lord. Thank you for the hope it contains, for the picture of small things becoming big and nourishing. Help me to hang onto hope, even when things seem darkest, to trust that even in the hardest times, there are seeds of future goodness. Amen.

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  1. Oh, Diana. I had to come over and tell you how much I love this Psalm. In fact, it was the inspiration for my first-ever, still unpublished, first novel entitled: Like Men Who Dreamed. Maybe one day…

    • Oh, thank you, Laura. Someday maybe I’ll get to read that novel? LOVE the title. And this is such a favorite of mine, for all kinds of reasons. Glad it’s yours, too.