Going Deeper 12-18-19

The Psalm for Advent 4…

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19   1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth 2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. 4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers? 5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure. 6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved. …  17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself. 18 Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name. 19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

 

This time of year can bring about a radical range of emotions for a lot of people.  Like many Psalms—and the Psalter as a whole—this text provides us with help in expressing the whole spectrum of feelings, from trust and confidence to cries of despair and sadness.  This is the stuff of life.

 

For some, experiencing their first Christmas in a long time without a spouse or other loved one can bring sadness and tears.  Others may be struggling with weaknesses and addictions which bring shame and guilt.  Still other might be experiencing worry about an uncertain future.  At the very same time—and in some cases within the very same people—there are emotions of gratitude and a desire to praise their Creator and Savior.  Again… this is the stuff of life.

 

The one constant that I hope we can all experience (albeit uneven at times) is that we can take it all to the Lord in prayer.  If we are angry or questioning, we can express those emotions to our Abba Father.  If we are sad or lonely, we can seek the comforting presence of the Holy Spirit.  If we are filled with joy and gratitude, we can fall at the feet of our Savior and worship Him.  If we are concerned over an uncertain future, we can commend it all into the hands of God, trusting that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and can make all things work together for good.

 

Whenever you need help expressing your feelings, I suggest looking to the Psalms!

 

With You in His Peace,

 

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, 

Wellington, Colorado

 

“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”