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When Dry Riverbeds Flow Again (Psalm 126)

Psalm 126 is an interesting text, if not slightly tricky, at first glance. With its mention of laughter and joy in the first few verses, it seems a celebratory song in need of an accompanying upbeat tune. Upon deeper inspection, however, the text takes a hard turn and calls for restoration through tears and weeping.

Bernard Howard addressed this text in a sermon to his congregation at Good Shepherd Anglican Church in New York City on August 9, 2020, titled “When Dry Riverbeds Flow Again.” Howard holds up Psalm 126 as a precious jewel meant to remind us of better times and point us to future hope. Those currently experiencing dry riverbeds are encouraged to read the text in terms of a natural breakdown of the psalm, which recalls past joy, exercises present prayer, and ends with future hope in the joyful harvest that’s promised.

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