December 20, 2018
Emma Friesen ’22
PSALM 126; ISAIAH 28; REVELATIONS 20; LUKE 1:5-25
The text of Psalm 126 starts rejoicing and then has a parallel section of waiting for restoration. This reminds me of how Christians in the liturgical calendar make their way through the purple seasons of waiting (Advent and Lent) to the seasons of celebration (Christmas and Easter). At my church during Advent, we have a Worship on the Longest Night service: a Christmas service that acknowledges the suffering, sin, and brokenness in the world. The latter part of Psalm 126 resonates with that theme, “Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy” (126:4 NIV). The psalmist acknowledges his present suffering, and he waits for restoration. Sometimes, my life feels more like I am “sowing with tears”, rather than celebration. On the children’s liturgical calendar at my church, Christmas is marked by a white space with a golden star. In the words of Matthew, we celebrate “God with us” and that “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 & 23). At Christmas, we celebrate restoration like in the beginning of Psalm 126: “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion… our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.” But, someday the times of waiting for restoration will be no more, because there will be “a new heaven and a new earth…there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:1 &4).