Hope Will Arise (An Evensong)

Jeremi Richardson
6 min readAug 3, 2022

“Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?

Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory!

Always praise. Yes. Yes. Yes.” — Romans 11:34–36

As you walked through this day, memories or reality remind us that life is hard. Sometimes we hurt. Sometimes we are overwhelmed. Sometimes the darkness is experienced over any light.

Sometimes ____________ (you can fill in the blank.) These places leave us living in the ashes of burned dreams, hopes, promises, etc. But, up from these ashes, God promises that hope will arise.

One of the most devastating realities surrounding our ashen state is the internal narrative that we tell ourselves. Friends, we are not the sum total of these ashes; we are much more colorful and intricately designed than any old ash. The colors of our humanity, and the life God breathes inside us, will spring forth from the heaps of these ashes and reveal the most extravagant of gardens, more fragrant than endless fields of jasmine. Even as I type this, the most amazing double rainbow is over my home; yet another way, God reminds me of his promise to be near and the restorer of all things. Up from the ashes, hope rises.

In his book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer says, “Attention is the beginning of devotion.” As the sun sets on this day, I think it would be redemptive to place our attention on the hope of Christ.

If you are willing to reflect, I would love to lead us through an evensong. Evensong is a church service traditionally held as the sun goes down for those unaware. This service marks the passing of another day of faith — a day in which we have successfully remained in Christ. The roots of this service are believed to come from the tradition of medieval monasteries and the practices kept to engage the Spirit in worship. The service is generally led by a liturgist and attended by a choir, chief musicians, and a congregation. Most modern Evensong services follow a pattern dictated by The Book of Common Prayer from which the community participates as they follow the service order.

The following online Evensong should take about 45 mins and finds its support via the readings provided and this Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1R8MsYN48yKyiCLHKgVq6W?si=3294ab8bbde3442e

Join me; light a candle, grab your bible and your favorite drink, and let’s reflect on the hope of Christ as we end this day.

As we begin this service, let’s follow the traditional format but focus on the hope of Christ and his embrace of our humanity in its ashen state. Trusting in our partner in grace, let us make our confession, first in silent prayer.

Let’s pray together:
God, come to my assistance — Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit — as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

SONG #1: Hide Not Thou Thy Face From Us, O Lord

Read with me the Word of the Lord from Psalm 139:1–6 (New Living Translation): “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I will say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too outstanding for me, too excellent for me to understand!”

SONG #2: Hear My Prayer, O Lord (Psalm 143)

Let us continue reading the Word of the Lord from Psalm 139:7–12 (NLT): “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning and dwell by the farthest oceans, your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night — but even in darkness, I cannot hide from you. To you, the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.”

SONG #3: Miserere Mei, Deus

Continuing the reading from Psalm 139:13–18 (NLT): “You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knitted me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”

SONG #4: Thou Wilt Keep Him In Perfect Peace

Let us pray:
Father, You promise us in Isaiah 61:3 that He will give us a crown of beauty instead of ashes. In this place of prayer, we address everything in our lives that represents spiritual ashes. Here in this sacred space, we hand over any disfavor or loss: spiritual dryness, emptiness, and spiritual death.

We hand over ________________ (you fill in the blank.)

We place these ashes under the work of the cross and the power of the name of Jesus. Amen!

SONG #6: O Savior Of The World

Let us pray:
You watch over heaven and earth, Lord Jesus. Your death brought light to the dead; your resurrection gave heaven and earth joy-filled songs. Your power exceeds all power. Lead us to life eternal, and watch over us with your love. Amen!

SONG #7: Psalm 121

Let us pray:
Father, even in times of ashes and struggle, even when we think we’ve been forgotten in our seasons of waiting, we acknowledge that you are still there. Knowing that we have never been forgotten or forsaken, we offer prayers for our brothers and sisters. May they know your nearness, even as we feel you now as we pray:

Lord, guide the minds and hearts of people and all in public office — may they seek the common good. Bless your people, Lord.

Renew the spirit of dedication in those who have left all to follow Christ — may they give clear witness to the holiness of the Church. Bless your people, Lord.

You have made all men and women in your image — may they always uphold human dignity. Bless your people, Lord.

Lead back to your friendship and truth all who have gone astray— teach us how to help them. Bless your people, Lord.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

SONG #8: Jesu The Very Thought of Thee

May everything be accomplished according to your will and through the power of your spirit. AMEN!

SONG #9: Raise A Hallelujah!

--

--

Jeremi Richardson

Husband to Amy | Dad to Ariah, Shalom, and Noa | Lover of coffee | Worship Leader, Studio Vocalist, and former member of CCM group, Avalon.