It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Advent...

November 30, 2017

As the calendar turns to December, we human beings are alone among all God’s creatures in how busy we try to be. Bears hibernate. Squirrels hunker down in their nests with their horde of oak nuts. We humans work overtime and schedule exams. No wonder we feel stressed out this time of year!

In the wisdom of the Church Year, Advent is the season of longing, a season of hoping for a better world, a season of intentional waiting for what will come by God’s grace. It’s no coincidence that Advent occurs when days are at their shortest in the Northern Hemisphere. Light and organic life are literally at a low ebb. It’s a bold spiritual posture to choose to wait and hope, to sit in the dark with silence and unfulfilled desires as companions. The Psalms help us do this. This week, I invite you to sit with these words from Psalm 80, which will also serve as the centerpiece for this weekend’s worship services at Elmhurst CRC.

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.

O shepherd of Israel, pay attention,
you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep!
You who sit enthroned above the winged angels, reveal your splendor!
In the sight of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh reveal your power!
Come and deliver us!
O God, restore us!
Smile on us! Then we will be delivered!

O Lord God, invincible warrior!
How long will you remain angry at your people while they pray to you?
You have given them tears as food;
you have made them drink tears by the measure.
You have made our neighbors dislike us,
and our enemies insult us.
O God, invincible warrior, restore us!
Smile on us! Then we will be delivered!...

...May you give support to the one you have chosen,
to the one whom you raised up for yourself!
Then we will not turn away from you.
Revive us and we will pray to you!
O Lord God, invincible warrior, restore us!
Smile on us! Then we will be delivered!

New English Translation

- Pastor Gregg

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