Monday, December 17, 2012
Psalm for Sunday, December 23, 2012
Psalm 80: 2-3, 15-16, 18-19
"O Shepherd of Israel, hearken,
and come to save us."
This Psalm is a prayer to restore
Israel, and by extension to restore us,
as a scattered people of God.
The Psalm is well adapted to our
prayer during Advent. We are a people
scattered and separated from God, and
we await His coming; He alone can
'make us turn to Him' and convert us.
“Shepherd of Israel, lend an ear …
come to save us.”
Our psalmist makes a direct appeal
to God to shepherd us. “Turn again
Lord ... attend to this vine.” Just as
the Lord tends to His vineyard, He
protects a shoot planted by His right
hand. The coming of Christ is intended
to revive us, restore our strength.
As the Psalm says, “Then we will not
withdraw from you; revive us, and
we will call on your name.”
Where does our hope for revival
come from? It comes from our Savior,
sent by the Lord, our cornerstone.
In Him we are restored. “Lord of
hosts restore us; let your face shine
upon us, that we may be saved.”
We all need to be renewed from
time to time when our faith grows
lukewarm, when our hearts harden
due to the sins that separate us from
God. We, like the Israelites, need
to beg for God’s mercy, to petition
the Lord and seek his peace, the peace
that will guard our hearts and minds,
and restore us as His people.
Discussion Questions for Reflection
1. The Psalm says, 'Lord, make us turn to you ....'
Have you noticed at times when we stray off His path
how the Lord tugs at each of us so that we return to His ways.
Give an example from your own experience.
2. Our psalmist is writing about the scattered people of Israel,
but his words may apply to each of us in our separation from God.
In what way are you inspired by the Psalm's verses to repent
and seek renewal, especially during this season of Advent?