A Seed Sown in Darkness

A Sermon on Psalm 126

There have been those who say that 2020 has been our own version of exile, where we wait for God to save us from one another and from ourselves, from the ways we have not cared for one another, wreaked havoc on our earth, stolen from those who already had little to build our own little kingdoms.  But our kingdoms have not protected us from this virus, and we find ourselves wishing, hoping, maybe even turning back to God and praying: “O come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom your captive people.”

And in Psalm 126 we hear what happens when God answers the people – it is as if they were in a dream.  “Our mouths were filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.”

It’s like we can almost taste those shouts of joy as we learn that a vaccine is on the horizon.  Every moment we share together in laughter – with our families in our homes, or even via Zoom – it’s like God has come down again to be with us – Emmanuel.  Bringing hope and joy – not only that this virus will end, but that we might be changed by our exile, that we might find our way back to treating one another and our world with respect and dare I say it, the love that we have received ourselves from God, who time after time refuses to let us remain in exile and alone.

“Rejoice! Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to us, O People of God!”

But the seeds of our own transformation happen when the season is still dark.  As the Psalm says, while we are still weeping.  The seeds are planted now, even as we mourn so many lives lost, home economies shattered, mental and spiritual health diminished.  It is now that we hold those seeds in our hands, and then in hope release them to the earth, praying for their renewal, their transformation from death to life.

Watch the full sermon from the third Sunday in Advent here.