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 Just one more Time - Psalm 126              

Edith and I are looking forward to watching another season of CFL football. Our favorite team - there is really no other team - is the one that has won the Grey Cup the last two times, 2019 and 2021. As we watch this year we hope that Winnipeg will win the Grey Cup “just one more time.”

Last Sunday, June 19, was our first Hymn Sing in more than two years. I believe that everyone present has the same wish - “God, just one more time,” and “one more time,” and “one more time.”

I trust that all of us have had deep spiritual experiences with God. Even more, I trust that we have an equally intense desire to have more similar experiences with God.  May this be our longing.

This is not going down memory lane to a former experience. This is a matter of meeting God.  Life at its core is not about our experiences. It is about God - and what he desires to stir in our lives. It is about God, what he has done - is doing - and will do.

There can hardly be a greater celebration of gratitude and praise for God’s redemption than Psalm 126. But, on closer study we observe a disturbing element in what appears to be a delirious happiness. The worshipers speak about the past - “we were like men,” “our mouths were filled with laughter.” But now, the joyful celebration is only a memory.

The first half of Psalm 126 concludes, “The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” (v. 3). Then the following line is, “Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev.” (v. 4). The psalmist shifts memories of  celebration in the past to a prayer for a comparable transformation in the present. 

Psalm 126 applies today - and every day. We recall God’s abundant blessings and redemption - and seek his face for more. At times we despair and give up. We suspect that our efforts are in vain. The illustration of “sowing in tears” and then “reaping with songs of joy” assures us that our endurance and perseverance will be rewarded.

We hear the Apostle Paul’s words, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9).

May God give us the courage to look ahead with hope.