Tag Archives: tears

Those Who Weep

A little belatedly, I’m starting my lent series.  I’m going to be following the daily lectionary readings, rather than the Sunday ones I normally cover, and reflecting on them here.  I shall also use the titles used in the Methodist Prayer Handbook, because they seem helpful for the Lenten journey.

Just for today  I am going to use the set Psalm, whilst Paul begins to wrap up his final farewells in Romans.

(A song for worship.)

Celebrating the Harvest

126 It seemed like a dream
when the Lord brought us back
    to the city of Zion.
We celebrated with laughter
    and joyful songs.
In foreign nations it was said,
    “The Lord has worked miracles
    for his people.”
And so we celebrated
    because the Lord had indeed
    worked miracles for us.

Our Lord, we ask you to bless
    our people again,
    and let us be like streams
    in the Southern Desert.
We cried as we went out
    to plant our seeds.
    Now let us celebrate
    as we bring in the crops.
We cried on the way
    to plant our seeds,
    but we will celebrate and shout
    as we bring in the crops.

At first glimpse, this seems an odd song for the beginning of Lent, it’s a song more of returning than of going into the desert, a song of praise and celebration than of sorrow; but perhaps it is the glimpse of hope we need.

And perhaps a significant part is in those who cry as they plant their seeds.

Tears of sorrow,
tears of frustration,
tears of pain,
tears of anger,
tears of desertion

Lord,
let my tears flow,
as a realisation,
a cleansing,
a sorrow.

Perhaps
as I enter Lent,
a wilderness,
time alone with you,
I can weep
for how far I am,
how dry and parched my life,
how in need of life
and refreshment.

In tears of honesty,
of acknowledgement,
of healing

May I find
life,
hope,
strength,
joy
and peace
in and through you

that I may return
knowing,
loving,
celebrating,
living
as you,
and only you
bring me back

And then
I will be equipped to sow
for you

All Those Who Are Weeping

Making New

Regeneration is a buzz word and concept in our time.  Taking somewhere that was derelict and restoring it to use again.

Being originally from Sheffield, an example that springs to mind, love it or loathe it, is Meadowhall, a mecca to the god of retail, built on a site previously occupied by steelworks.

Richard Bird [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

In the early 1980s much of Sheffield, and the lives of the people there, were decimated by the closure of many of the steelworks, played out in realistic fashion in the film The Full Monty.

This was very much a part of my formative years.  But Meadowhall has replaced that.  From an awful time in the life of a city and it’s inhabitants, and the ruins of a city and a workforce, has come something new.  A huge shopping centre may not be much replacement for jobs for men used to working in heavy industrial labour, but it is at least doing  something for the economy of that area.  From the death of steel, some new life has come.  From distress has come opportunity.  The area is unrecognisable from the ghost town of empty industry it had become.

None of this comes anything close to what God can and will do, but it gives a bit of an idea.  Because God is making all things new.

Revelation 21:1-6

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.

I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:

God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.

Then the one sitting on the throne said:

I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty.

This has long been a favourite passage of mine.  It is a beautiful vision, and speaks to me of hope and peace.

This is heaven – not God sitting on some fluffy cloud playing his harp, but God coming to live with his people.  And not just live with us, but wiping all tears from our eyes.  I can just picture God coming, putting his arm around me, and making everything better.  All the pain; all the tears; all the sorrows; all the losses; all those things that no one else could put right, however much they wanted to – not brushed under the carpet, but taken by God and dealt with forever.  And the promise that there will be no more.

Whatever has happened in our lives – God is going to make something new – that is his promise.  Not a repair, not a patch, something entirely new.  It may or may not be what we are expecting, but his promise is that he will do it.

I don’t know about you, but I could do with God getting a tissue and wiping away the tears I still cry, and truly making things new.  That’s the hope I cling to.

Thank you God
for your promises.
That there will be a new day
and a new way.
That you will come
and dwell amongst us,
holding us tight,
wiping our tears,
taking our fears,
our suffering,
our pain,
our grief
and those things that cause us to feel like that.

That they will be gone,
and in place of desolation and despair,
will be your ways.

Thank you for the hope,
the vision,
the promise
in you