Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/15/2022: Psalm 80

Today please be in prayer for

Coal Creek UMC
Nortonville: New Covenant UMC
Ozawkie UMC
Valley Falls UMC
Winchester UMC
Topeka District
Troy UMC
Wathena UMC
Topeka District
Corning: Trinity UMC
Goff UMC
Wetmore UMC
Topeka District
Bellevue, KS UMC
Highland UMC-Presbyterian
Zion UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 80

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!

Restore us, O God;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved.

O Lord God of hosts,
    how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears
    and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
    our enemies laugh among themselves.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved.

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
    you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
    the mighty cedars with its branches;
it sent out its branches to the sea
    and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
    so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
    and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts;
    look down from heaven and see;
have regard for this vine,
    the stock that your right hand planted.
It has been burned with fire; it has been cut down;
    may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
    the one whom you made strong for yourself.
Then we will never turn back from you;
    give us life, and we will call on your name.

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Today's Devotional

A Psalm of waiting as we head into our final week of Advent and begin careening ever faster to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. What I love about the Psalms is that they model for us prayer, even and perhaps especially when we have a complicated relationship with God. The Psalmist has taught me that sometimes, there is nothing more faithful than to be angry with God, or disappointed with God, because we are faithful enough to be honest in our prayers.

The Psalmist here reminds God of God’s covenant, God’s promise of restoration, God’s care for the vine, of how God is shining a light on us and the darkened corners of our life and of our world. Give us life, give us salvation, and we will call your name with praise, we will be always faithful. Can we bargain, can we plead with God? Yes, especially if we echo the refrain of this Psalm:

Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.

We are approaching the Winter solstice, the longest night of darkness in our hemisphere. Many churches will have “Blue Christmas” or “Longest Night” services. Those times of prayer and reflection are not just for those who are having a hard time with the season, or who are having a difficult season of loss and disruption. It is an opportunity for all of us to be bold before God about our needs, and to pray unafraid and unashamed for God to restore God’s people again. To restore us again. To restore broken relationships and spirits and minds and bodies. It is an opportunity to come as faithful petitioners of God. Even and especially when the merriment of the season sounds tinny and hollow.

-- Rev. Daniel Norwood
Hiawatha First UMC

Prayer for Reflection

Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.


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