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By Rev. Susannah Pittman

In this season, the opening verse of Psalm 63 has frequently come to my mind: “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” The sense of longing and weariness expressed by the psalmist resonates with me—and, perhaps, with you, too. In our world, our community, and our individual lives, we have experienced much pain, disappointment, uncertainty, and grief over the past year. The brokenness of our world and our lives weighs heavily on our hearts, and we long for genuine and transformative healing, peace, joy, and hope. 

The approaching season of Advent gives voice to our longing. Scriptures for this season call us to examine our brokenness and to articulate our laments and longings; we acknowledge that things are not as they should be. Yet, Advent also reorients us to the One for whom our soul longs. Christ comes to meet us in our weariness and suffering and offers us the true peace, comfort, redemption, and hope that we seek. 

It is, indeed, a gift and a privilege to share this Good News of comfort, peace, hope, and healing to our community. Our Congregational Care ministry seeks to provide sacred spaces for all to express our hurt and longing while also being assured of God’s love, grace, and hope. For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, our GriefShare ministry will facilitate a Surviving the Holidays seminar on November 14 to offer support and encouragement. Our Service of Hope and Healing, offered December 5, will provide space to reflect upon and experience Christ’s peace, comfort, and hope in the midst of our pain, sorrow, and hardships. Stephen Ministers and the pastoral staff are also available for individual support and care. 

The longing and weariness so vividly expressed by the psalmist may resonate with our lived experience of this past year. Let us be assured, however, that we do not journey alone. The One whom we earnestly seek is always with us, offering us healing, hope, and sustenance for the journey. May we rest in and be refreshed by God's grace and share God's love in the world around us.”

O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

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