“God who answers, would you who makes water break forth from rock, remind us that you are a God who responds to our exhaustion and defeat? Help us to trust your promise. There are times it feels like our present reality will always be. It becomes difficult to dream. Our imaginations for healing are far too small. Let our ancestors lead us to the rock, go with us to the rock, knowing they hold memory for us, increasing our memory and resolve. Let them remind us as you have reminded them that we have not been forgotten.” Cole Arthur Riley, creator of @BlackLiturgies
Pause + Breathe:: DOWNLOAD the Advent calendar + devotional journaling guide.
Jeremiah uses the Hebrew word mikveh (from the root word qava, meaning to wait or look eagerly for, to bind or gather together) in the sense of "hope," while at the same time connecting it with "living water":
“O Hope (mikveh) of Israel, its Savior in time of distress, why are you like a stranger in the land or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?” (Jeremiah 14:8).
O LORD, the Hope (mikveh) of Israel, all who forsake you will be ashamed... because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water (Jeremiah 17:13).
“All who came upon them have devoured them; and their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty, inasmuch as they have sinned against the LORD who is the habitation of righteousness, even the LORD, the Hope (mikveh) of their fathers...’ (Jeremiah 50:7).
Prayer:: Excerpts from an Advent Homily given by Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney:
We are waiting
We are waiting in the dark
We are waiting in the holy darkness
We are waiting in the womb of God
Between this Advent and the next
We are waiting. We are waiting for Christmas. We are waiting for the end of the semester. We are waiting for this calendar year to be over. We are waiting for one heck of a New Year’s Eve party.
We are waiting for Jesus. We are waiting for Jesus to come back. And while we wait, we wait with Jesus, in this world that needs him still.
We are a waiting church. In the gospel, John is waiting for Jesus and urging the people to wait for the kiss of the Holy Spirit….
We are waiting. We are waiting for Jesus. We are waiting for Jesus to come back. And while we wait, we wait with Jesus, in this world that needs him still. We need Jesus, still. He came to us to be with us as we are that we might be as he is.
And while we wait between this Advent and the next, we have work to do. We have work to do in the world and work to do in ourselves. Like the Israelites, we inhabit a world in need of transformation. We have an opportunity to rebuild and renew, forge new relationships, and strengthen existing bonds.
And in the words of the epistle, this waiting time is a measure of grace that we might repent and prepare our hearts for that which we await: God is not slow about the promise of God, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
Even God is waiting.
And one day, our wait will be over. We shall see God, see and be seen, know and be known. And our joy will ring out like the prophet on the hills.
Our wait will be over and we shall be home, heart-close, in the bosom of God. Amen.
Ponder:: Depth like this requires us to scuba dive. To be clear, the beauty of going deep isn't necessarily a comfortable place, oftentimes, it's a brutally raw place, but it can be a conforming + comforting place; it certainly was conforming and soul shaping for Jeremiah and the other exiles.
Our tears of joy + sadness can be a symbolic reminder of mikveh—they are living waters that flow from our connected depths. Tears that water the seed of what we hope for. Because what you hope for, you live for. And what you live for shapes your decisions + life.
In this place of spiritual deluge, Hope's depth was where the presence of God's Peace (Shalom) was completing a good work in Jeremiah's lamenting generation, as it is doing so in our generation. And so, we wait in our sacred scuba gear.
Because what you hope for, you live for. And what you live for shapes your decisions + life.
Shallow water may be safer, but the humble descent into Hope ironically elevates and offers the worshiper the privilege to behold the stunning and the undiminishing beauty of a benevolent God who self-discloses to us in unlikely places.
Read + Ruminate:: Read Genesis 38 - Hope in the Story of Tamar’s Justice
Listen:: to the Mohawkmomma Soul Podcast episode for the reflection of Genesis 38.
Until next time,
Scribble. Speak. From your soul.
Links for further discovery
Visit the Advent series page. Next, we will open another Advent door... Peace
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LEAVE A COMMENT: What has been your recent experience with the living waters of Hope?
Know that uncomfortable places aren't void of comfort. We just have to look closely underneath the surface where hope is at work. Where is hope at work in you?