1 When the Lord brought us back to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
2 How we laughed, how we sang for joy!
Then the other nations said about us,
“The Lord did great things for them.”
3 Indeed he did great things for us;
how happy we were!
4 Lord, make us prosperous again,
just as the rain brings water back to dry riverbeds.
5 Let those who wept as they planted their crops,
gather the harvest with joy!
6 Those who wept as they went out carrying the seed
will come back singing for joy,
as they bring in the harvest.
Yesterday we saw God doing a new thing. Don’t get stuck in the past he says, look at what I am doing for you now.
But we still need to show our thanks, to rejoice when we look back and see what he has done for us. We have to acknowledge the past, it has formed the present. Yet it is no use if it hangs like a millstone round our necks. It is only useful if we learn from it, and take its lessons with us into the present and the future.
“Spring forward!” we were reminded last week as we changed the clocks, as the days lengthen, as we see the flowers that bloom in the spring. The promise of summer is in the air. New things are happening, not yet visible, but coming.
The seeds were sown into cold earth, but the green blade will rise, and the sun will bring the harvest.
Can you look forward and see it?
God of the new,
God of surprises,
God of our fathers and mothers,
God also of our children and grandchildren,
you know our past,
and our future.
We praise you for the past,
for those who nurtured us in our faith;
we praise you for the present,
for encouragement day by day;
we praise you for the future,
for the new things you have in store for us.