Advent Devotion – December 19, 2010

Scripture – Psalm 80:1–7, 17–19

2010 Advent Devotion for web Do you ever feel like it is hard to get God’s attention? Or difficult to figure out where God is? It was hard for the people reflected in Psalm 80 as well. Here they are, probably in exile, feeling like God has turned away from them and they can’t get God’s attention.

I was raised in the Deep South, where politeness was next to godliness and trumped everything else. So I am usually a bit shocked at how Israelites say things to God like “wake up,” or “listen to me!” But I find their direct approach liberating. In Psalm 80:1–2 they say, “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel. . . . Stir up your might [like “wake up”] and come to save us!” Desperate to get God’s attention, they feel like they haven’t been listened to lately. But unlike most of us, they do this not because they need to tell God what to do next, but because they believe that their deliverance depends on God restoring them. They realize that deliverance will come not through alliances and military might, but through a God who keeps promises.

What if we got honest with God about our despair and our hopes and then just waited and listened? Do we have the patience for this?

Loving Creator, we are (share your thoughts and feelings, then listen in silence before continuing aloud). Restore us, O Lord. Let your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. Amen.

Elder Ervin Bullock, staff member,
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, 1989–2009,
Ocala, Florida

Order Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace.

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