Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
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.
A long time ago I first heard the Psalms referred to as Israel’s hymnbook. The Psalms were meant to be sung. One of the things I like to do with a Psalm is imagine what sort of tune or tunes might best go with the words. I am not a musician so I don’t think in technical musical terms but in terms like slow or fast, soft or loud, happy or sad, a thundering organ or a single acoustic guitar, a single voice or a large choir.
Read Psalm 126 and think about what sort of music fits with the words. You might even read it out loud. The Psalms are poetry and many folks find it helpful to read poetry out loud.
There are two parts to the Psalm so you might even imagine a dramatic musical shift. The first three verses joyfully celebrate the great things God had done for God’s people at some time in the past. But the last three verses seem to be a plea for God to bring back days like those. Where there was once laughter there are now tears. And the Psalmist longs for the joy and laughter to return.
So… what is your song today? What type of tune are you singing? Are you singing with joy? Or are you crying for deliverance in your song? Are you in some way singing both at the same time? Many of us have those kinds of days. Or maybe you have another song today and this Psalm may help you think about that song and sing it.
Gracious God, even though I do not always acknowledge it, I know I do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from your mouth.
Make me hungry for this heavenly food, that it may nourish me today in the ways of eternal life; through Jesus Christ, the bread of heaven. Amen.
(Adapted from the 1993 Book of Common Worship, p. 90)
Go with God!