Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.
He hath abolished the old drouth,
And rivers run where all was dry,
The field is sopp’d with merciful dew.
The words are old, the purport new,
And taught my lips to quote this word
That I shall live, I shall not die…
~Gerard Manley Hopkins from “He Hath Abolished”
We are God’s people, wandering homeless in the desert for years before being allowed to enter the Promised Land. To us, there is great hope in the possibility of moisture coming from heaven as the bountiful gift Moses describes in an analogy for his words and teaching. The dew of heaven becomes the representation of God’s all-encompassing Spirit and gift of grace in this and other Old Testament scripture passages.
Ultimately, God’s Word descended like dew from heaven in the form of a newborn baby in a manger come to dwell among us. Like dew, He becomes flesh at no cost to us, to be among us freely, coming in the night, into the darkness, as a gentle covering of all things dry and dying, to refresh, to restore, to soften, to make what was withered fruitful once again. We live again because of this Word of flesh quickens the light within our darkness.
Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above,
and let the clouds rain the Just One.
Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.