Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.
Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 1 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
80:1-2 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!
80:3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
80:4 O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
80:5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.
80:6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.
80:7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
80:17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.
80:18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.
80:19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Source: Year B – Advent : Revised Common Lectionary
This Psalm is a cry for hope, a cry for help, and a question that you have maybe felt. “God, will you show up in my situation?”
Look at this painting by Blunden, Anna E., 1829-1915. It is a depiction of an overworked seamstress in the 1850s.
What do you see on her face? There is a poem written in the same era that many associate with this painting. You can read it here
Ask God to come into the lives of all those who are in situations like this.
Ask God to show up for them!