Advent Devotions

Tuesday, December 15

 

Psalm 80:1-3

Read over the psalm again. Hear the pleading in the psalmist’s voice: Give ear, O Shepherd! Stir up your might and come save us!

The psalmist remembers the days when security seemed easy to come by. All it took was carrying the ark of the covenant and the people of Israel were safe.

The ark of the covenant was a great gold chest topped by two gleaming angels, their wings outstretched to meet each other, marking the space where God dwelled. It housed the Ten Commandments—the covenant between God and Israel. It was not to be touched.

When they traveled through the wilderness, the ark went first, carried on poles by priests. The two cherubim perched upon the ark, indicating God’s presence and protecting God’s people. When the priests carrying the ark stepped into the Jordan River, the river’s current ceased and the people crossed on dry ground (Joshua 3). When Israel’s priests and warriors marched around the city of Jericho with the ark in their midst, the walls collapsed, and Israel captured the city (Joshua 6).

The psalmist cries out to God: You who are enthroned upon the cherubim! Where have you gone? Can you hear us? Do what you used to do: come save us!

Maybe you sense that void in your own life—the God who once seemed so near, who used to go before you and make your future secure, who protected you through your childhood and early adulthood, has seemed to disappear. You feel that you’re on your own.

Follow the psalmist’s lead. Turn to God and ask God to turn to you. Beg him. Seek him.

Prayer: O Shepherd, I’m losing hope. You used to guide me like a sheep from your flock. You used to go before me and smooth my path. Where have you gone? Listen to my cries! Muster up your power and save me! Restore me. Let your face shine.

The Advent devotions follow the Common Lectionary texts. You may use the devotions in a number of ways, but you are encouraged to do the following:

  1. Read the passage through at least once. (Each devotion includes a link to the Scripture passage for the day.)
  2. Reflect on the passage and pay attention to how God might be using it to speak to you.
  3. Read and consider the devotion.
  4. End in prayer. You may begin with the prayer offered at the end of each devotion or pray your own prayer.

Posted on December 15, 2015, in Advent Devotions, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Advent Devotions.

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