Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved. (Psalm 80:3, NRSV)
Part of the morning routine at our house is watching the first fifteen to twenty minutes of Today on NBC, during which one of the anchors runs down the top news headlines. Both Katie and I think that it’s important for us to know what’s going on the world as we begin our day, and I think we’re hoping to eventually be able to share that time with our girls – who at this point are too young to understand anything except the fact that the news isn’t one of their shows – so that they will be informed. Recently, that part of our routine has been more and more difficult, as news of violence, conflict, hatred, and suffering seem to dominate the headlines. Sometimes I find myself wanting to walk away (or letting Evie watch one of “her shows” earlier), but I’m convinced that this would be a mistake. Acknowledging and dwelling with the pain of our world is hard, but it is also part of our calling as Christians, and it is also part of what it means to take Advent seriously. The next time any of us are tempted to turn away, maybe it would be helpful to make the verse above the basis of our prayer.
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. Restore your world, and let your face shine upon us and all who are in pain, that we may be saved through you who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
– Pastor Andrew Chavanak, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church