Friday, December 9, 2011

The Third Week of Advent: Psalm 126 and Dreamers

Devotion by Abby Mohaupt

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 Negeb. 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 126:1-6, CEB)

I think God has a special connection with dreamers. Maybe it’s just that we let our guard down as we drift into the world of dreams—maybe we just leave a little more space for God to get in.
Over and over in the story of God speaking to God’s people, God uses dreams to communicate. These dreams are full of peril (like Joseph’s in Egypt) and these dreams are full of promise (like a different Joseph’s). God uses those who dream.

Before I went to seminary, I read some of the writings of other religious leaders who wrote about the need for people of faith to care for the planet. Their convicting words reminded me of all the summers I spent leading worship at a summer camp. At camp, I deeply felt the connection between my love of God and my love of creation. Surely God felt closer to me when I was hiking the hilly trails or gazing at a summer sun-set. I am always overwhelmed with joy at the beauty of God’s creation. It did not occur to me—until I read these writings—that God might be closer to me when the earth is not so pretty. Could it be that I felt God when I encountered clear cut forests, endangered species, and oil refineries? Could it be that I might also be overwhelmed by the depth of the destruc-tion of God’s creation?

We have destroyed much of God’s creation. We have forgotten how connected we people are to the rest of God’s creation. When I remember, I am overcome with a sense of inadequacy. Whatever seeds of change I plant will not be enough. And I weep, like the people in the Psalm. I have no hope.

But I have dreams. After I finished reading these writings by other people of faith, I dreamed of people who are Presbyterians who also feel connected to God’s creation. And now, in seminary, I have met many of these Presbyterians who are working to plant seeds of change, of hope, of plenty. I have met people who are fulfilling my dream.

I am certain that what we do together will not be enough. But I am also certain that God does not leave us alone to do this work. Christ comes so that our work does not leave us in tears of sadness but in tears of joy. Christ comes so that we might be restored. Christ comes so that we might dream of a better world with God. Christ comes so that we might know that—even in our sins of destruction—God loves us. God is with us—in the sunsets and in the refineries. God is with us, and God loves us.

More information:
For information on connecting worship and education to caring for God's creation, visit
To learn more about the ministry of Presbyterian Summer Camps (connecting God's people to God's planet), visit

Holy God, blessed be Your name for the works of Your hands in all the world. Thank you for loving us and calling us to dream for the restora-tion of Your creation. Remind us—in this season of the Coming Christ—that You are with us. Thank you for the trees, the birds, the stars, the rivers, and the squirrels. We love you. Come, Jesus, Come. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Abby Mohaupt received her M.Div. from McCormick Theological Semi-nary in May 2011. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Theology with an emphasis in Environmental Theology at McCormick. She lives in Chicago amidst the bounty of God’s urban world.
Photo by Jane Laping.

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