"they who wait for the Lord"

Gaffney, SC

Yesterday Psalm 27 seemed important to me. It ends with the urgent words, "...yea, wait for the Lord!" And then today I found this compelling passage in The Prophetic Imagination, by Walter Brueggemann:

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. (Is 40.30-31)
The poet contrasts us in our waiting and in our going ahead. For those who take initiative into their own hands, either in the atheism of pride or the atheism of despair, the words are weary, faint, and exhausted. The inverse comes with waiting: renewed strength, mounting up, running, and walking. But that is in waiting. It is in receiving and not grasping, in inheriting and not possessing, in praising and not seizing. It is in knowing that initiative has passed from our hands and we are safer for it. Obviously this becomes more than a critique of Babylon [or "Empire"]. It is also a critique of every effort to reorganize on our own and it is a warning about settling in any exile as home.

The newness from God is the only serious source of energy. ...The prophet must not underestimate his or her urgent calling, for there is no other source of newness. I am aware that this runs dangerously close to passivity, as trust often does, and that it stands at the brink of cheap grace, as grace must always do. But that risk must be run because exiles must always learn that our hope is never generated among us but always given to us.