Psalm 126 prays, “Restore our fortunes. . . . Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy.” The second half of December is frequently a time of reviewing the events (including losses and deaths) of the past year. What has been lost this year? What are the longings for restoration around you? How are hopes for the future anchored in these memories? While many congregations are struggling, we are all still part of ancient cycles of loss and restoration, and it can be healing to find ourselves in the sacred story. The message of John the Baptist in the Gospel of John continues to point to the one who will make all things new – Jesus the Christ.

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