Reaching

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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 Negev. 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. (Psalm 126, NRSV)

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy…..

There is a common phrase in our culture that I have heard many times in my life. You reap what you sow. Meaning you get what you deserve. It’s an interesting idea of how our culture believes karma happens, and as disciples these phrases are slippery slopes.

They are not biblical, but I think we would be surprised by how many people think they are. Let’s look at this psalm as we consider this half-truth. God’s restoration has results and the results according to this psalm as that people who dream, who’s lives are filled with laughter and who’s tongues shout out joy! All sounds awesome right?

What does the phrase mean then: May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Kind of sounds like something Jesus said to me.

When Jesus[a] saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Bad times will come, but they don’t have to stay bad. Maybe our tears are not always sad, but one day tears of joy? Because in these moments of isolation and utter worthlessness we find God, and ultimately find ourselves and in that finding we find joy.

May you know in those times of utter despair, you are not alone, in fact in the deep water that you are overwhelmed by Jesus is reaching towards you to help you up.

May you experience joy in all areas of your life and May you know that this joy comes from our Lord God.

 

About Bradley Alexander

My name is Bradley Alexander, I serve as the Director of Youth and Media Ministries at Arlington Heights United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, TX. I am married to the love of my life, Rev. Amy Forsythe-Alexander, who serves as the Pastor of Discipleship at Acton United Methodist Church. I graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in 2011 with a Bachelors of Science in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Business Management. Currently I am working on receiving the United Methodist Church Youth Ministry Certification with the General Board of Higher Education. After receiving this I will continue my coursework at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas receiving a Masters in Youth Ministry. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to connect with you again in the future.