“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might, and come to save us! Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” (Psalm 80: 1-3)
It would seem that not yet is the time to focus on the nativity of Jesus. If I had looked ahead in my own planning, I would have seen that the Psalm Passage is themed towards salvation. Ah well, it is a theme that is just as important as the nativity; and one that under scores the reason that Christ was sent to us.
“O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.” (Verses 4 – 6)
This is also a good reminder of what the Hebrews/Jews endured during their long history; a time spanning from the rule of King David to subjugation of the Jews under Rome. Of course, if King David was the writer of this psalm, the focus was his problems and struggles. But it is a common custom to appropriate the musings and writings of one person and apply it to other situations. So let us apply it to all the Hebrews/Jews. And maybe even extend it to ourselves. And what better time to ask for God’s face to shine on us than when we are waiting, anticipating, and preparing for the arrival of the baby Jesus. For this baby is more than just an infant child, but the hope that the world has been waiting for.
“Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” (Verse 7)
May this hope for Advent be fulfilled for you, beloved reader. Selah!