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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, March 7, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

My soul is waiting for you, Lord,
as one who longs for morning;
no watcher waits with greater hope
than I for your returning.
I hope as Israel in the Lord,
who sends redemption through the Word.
Praise God for grace and mercy!

“Out of the Depths” (v. 4) by Martin Luther
Hymn 424, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

I struggle with the notion of waiting on or hoping for God. It feels like a bit of a cop-out to me, this notion that God has a plan and a timeline and we’re just supposed to sit around waiting for it all to fall into place. I don’t think our call is quite that simple. 

When I think of the hope of Israel, however, hope no longer feels so passive. I think of Moses, who despite his reluctance to heed God’s call, demands that Pharaoh let God’s people go. I think of Shiphrah and Puah, who quietly disobeyed Pharaoh again and again and again. I think of a people held captive for generations, not knowing if they would ever see freedom. I think of ordinary folks who woke up every day and kept going out of a hope that they might be a part of something greater than Pharaoh and greater than themselves. 

I love these words from Austin Channing Brown: “It is working in the dark, not knowing if anything I do will ever make a difference. It is speaking anyway, writing anyway, loving anyway. . . . It is pushing back, even though my words will never be big enough, powerful enough, weighty enough to change everything. It is knowing that God is God and I am not.”

I don’t believe that we’re called to be a people of sitting around and waiting for things to happen, nor are we permitted to give up when things don’t happen on our timeline. I think we’re called to do what we can, little by little, and, like the Israelites, never lose hope that we are part of something greater. 

God of liberation, grant me the hope of the Israelites—the hope to work for something better, even when doing so seems futile. Amen. 

Written by Allie Green, Director, Urban Youth Mission

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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