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 neighbours; our enemies laugh among themselves.
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
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.
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
One of the great cries of Advent is – stir up. In this psalm it is stir up your might, and come and save us. Advent has turned a corner, the Great O’s have once more commenced, the countdown has started.
In these verses from psalm 80 the plea is for restoration, but there is also that acknowledgement that restoration requires a shake up the strange thing however is, that it is God that does the changing, just as God changed in form to become a baby in all vulnerability and humility. Restore us O Lord and if we are too stubborn of heart to change come and save us, change yourself not in essence but in how we perceive you so that we can learn from your example and be transformed.