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“He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth, love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in his path to birth…”
My family lived in the Arkansas delta where Missouri, Tennessee, and Arkansas all meet the great Mississippi River. When I was a child, we lived out “in the country” on a long gravel road, in a little white house surrounded by vast fields. Looking out over the thoroughly flat land, I thought I could see forever. It’s really stunning, its own kind of beauty, especially during the summer months when the fields burst with crops of all kinds: cotton, wheat, soybeans, rice, and milo.
Now when you talked about the weather in our little town, you weren’t just making small talk. When someone said, “Did you hear the forecast calls for rain?” he was not implying that you should remember your umbrella. The weather determined almost everything about the success of your crops, harmful insects and suffocating weeds notwithstanding.
During the dry days or weeks, during the droughts that sometimes grabbed hold of the land and wouldn’t seem to let go, the blazing sun and scorching heat would burn the crops to a crisp unless rain came. The bright green leaves would fade and begin to droop. The brown, fertile ground would crack open, parched. Everyone in our farming community would become desperate, and we would pray and pray and pray for rain knowing it would bring life to the land and an abundant harvest for all. But we couldn’t make it rain. We had to pray and wait, expectantly.
This Advent is a time of waiting expectantly for our beloved Jesus Christ to come down like showers upon us. We are parched for hope. We are cracking due to pressures we can’t control and worries we cannot seem to give up. We are breaking under the weight of the world. But with hope, we wait expectantly for the darkening clouds and the booming thunder, and we watch for the nourishing sheets of rain to roll across the fields of our lives until we are drenched in Christ’s love and grace.
Can you smell the rain coming? Do you feel the wind picking up? Do you hear the rumble from the darkening skies above? Did you feel that first drop upon your head? Open your parched hearts wide, lift up your hopes to the sky, and let God’s love “reign” down and nourish your weary soul.
Prayer: Dear Christ Jesus, reign down your love on us. Amen.