Today’s Scripture: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
7 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine that we may be saved. (NRSV)
When I was growing up, my mom’s standard catch phrase was, “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.” As a child of the Depression, Mom always had examples to back up her claim against a frustrated and defiant teenage boy. I find myself repeating this phrase in my life today – at work, at home, and even in the mirror. Despite this, I have always felt a little unsettled by the phrase.
I think unsettled would be an understatement for God’s people in Judah having seen the Northern Kingdom defeated by the armies of Assyria. I wonder if they were prepared for the worst? Yet, the people of Judah found hope in God to turn them back to the Lord. My problems seem to pale in comparison to theirs, but I still sometimes find myself dragged down, tired, and even weak in my faith. I need hope to sustain me. This is where the season of Advent is special for me.
Despite the commercialism, mania, and media blitz of our secular Christmas, I find hope. I find hope in the change of season – its touch, its taste, and its smell. I find hope in the year’s closing and the second chance it brings. I find hope in the common kindnesses I give and receive more. I find hope in the great gift of God manifest. For in the Lord, I am restored.