To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
my God, I put my trust in you; *
let me not be humiliated,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
2 Let none who look to you be put to shame; *
let the treacherous be disappointed in their schemes… READ MORE
It is the First Sunday of Advent! Irie New Year! The traditional theme for this Sunday is “hope.” What an apt motif with which to begin our year! And what an appropriate Psalm with which to begin (25:1-9). For, indeed, many of us have entered the New Year in a similar position to that of the composer of today’s Psalm. What is this position? Listen to two verses from the Draft Jamiekan Saamz
Mi Laad, a yu mi gi mi aat
Mi Gad a iina yu mi chos,
du no mek mi shiem,
du no mek mi enimi dem buos aaf pan mi.
It is a position of lament, arising out of a situation of great need or affliction – of feeling exhausted, and distressed, of being at our wits end and at the risk of being swallowed up in defeat, misfortune or disgrace. The Psalmist describes it as a state of being humiliated or put to shame.
Whatever the lament with which we enter the new year, we are invited to be daring enough to imagine a better situation for ourselves, and to rest that vision for ourselves wholly in God – the God of unending compassion and love (v5), the God who is able to rescue us from that which is determined to impede our wellbeing (v1), to give us a brand new start (v6), and to guide us in doing the right thing (v8).
So, we enter yet another year with its many uncertainties, exacerbated by a prolonged pandemic and its innumerable ill effects. Yet, we enter the year, standing in hopeful expectation in a personal God of love, compassion and justice who has our best interest at heart. As Donny McClurkin encourages us:
Well, you just stand when there’s nothing left to do
You just stand, watch the Lord see you through
Yes, after you’ve done all you can
You just stand
ADVENT – 1 Collect
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Message Contributed by Rev Bertram Gayle – Deacon assigned to St. Andrew Parish Church
Psalm & Collect read by Tracy Ann Mahoney of Crofts Hill All Saints Anglican -Clarendon