Scripture: Psalm 126
Key verse: (5) “May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.”
Reflection: This particular psalm is known as one of the Song of Ascents. In ancient biblical times, when people travelled up to Jerusalem for festivals and holy days, they would sing these songs along the way. This group of psalms (120-134) recount events in the life of the nation of Israel highlighting God’s saving grace. Psalm 126 reminded them of the joy the people experienced when the exiles returned from captivity in Babylon. It was sung as a reminder of God’s salvation from destruction and loss. When Jerusalem was restored and the people returned it was like a dream. No one thought it could ever happen, but it did. Their tears turned into shouts of joy.
Have you ever had something happen in your life that turned your entire world upside down? At the time it may have seemed as if all was lost – there was no hope. But, when you were set free from the pain of adversity, it may have felt like you were dreaming. Life can feel very surreal when we emerge from suffering. It is such a relief that we might burst out laughing with joy because what seemed impossible comes true! If you are exiled somewhere right now because of tragedy or destructive choices, pray that God will restore you. Remember God’s faithfulness in the past and cling to hope for the future. Be patient and know that the God of the captive ones of Zion is the God who is with you. One day you will be able to sing again.
Prayer: Lord, be with us in times of exile and times of restoration. If we are unable to shout with joy today, remind us that our weeping won’t last forever. Give us strength for the journey and help us support one another in love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].