“Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that people yet unborn may praise our God.” (Psalm 102:18)
Many of us know some variation of the proverb “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade we do not expect to sit.” It reminds us that though we await the reign of God’s peace on earth, we may not see it in our lifetimes. Some of us have walked many miles for freedom, but the end journey is near and we prepare to take our eternal rest. Some of us will spend the rest of our lives planting seeds of justice that will bloom only after our bodies have returned to the earth. Our efforts are not in vain.
Advent reminds us that we hope not only for ourselves but also for the generations to come. We lift up our prayers and offer our gifts today because we believe in a future when captives will be freed, violence will cease, and the hungry will be fed. We pray and act, knowing that while we are finite, our God is eternal and the day is coming when all people will rest secure in the presence of the Lord.
Gracious God, we lift up prayers for peace and justice, knowing that the work that has begun will be completed. Give us the strength to labor on, so that the world may see glimpses of your reign of peace today. Amen.
The Rev. Reggie A. Weaver, pastor,
First Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Illinois