In the middle of the night, I heard rain on our roof. That is a sweet desert sound. I imagined the smell of it, fresh, moisture-heavy, that hard-to-describe desert smell of plants, trees, animals and earth. The rain is both needed now and holds the promise of something in the future, spring wildflowers at the least. God’s gift to us, no charge, free and freeing, one of many signs of God’s abundant outpouring to us and all creation.

For as long as our recorded history, people have cried out in sorrow, anger and confusion over the pain of life. The Psalms and the prophets are full of this crying out to God. Yet, that is rarely the final or only word. The writers of Scripture shout out in thanksgiving and hope. All you need to do is open your Bible to middle, to the Psalms to hear:  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) And on and on and on, covering over our hurts and longings and raining with hope and life.

This is the story of Advent. In the darkest days of the year we rush around and lament and cry. All the while God is working on our hearts, longing for us to hear that God is doing a new thing, a refreshing heart-lightening love-bringing thing–getting us ready for Christ to come at Christmas.

Do you hear it? Not just the rain but the tugging of God at our heart-strings saying, “you are mine. Creation is mine. The world is mine. Here’s the gift of it all–people and music and having enough to share with others, and so much more.”  Including rain.

Prepare our hearts, O God, for the abundant life you offer. Give us glad and generous hearts, Holy One.  Amen.

Advent blessings, Sharon