Sunday, November 27, 2011

The First Sunday of Advent

This is the first installment (29 days to follow) of The Road to the Manger Advent devotional guide.  
Note that the four Scripture readings are from the Common Lectionary.  
The reading that is marked in bold is the focus for the thoughts that follow. 
I pray that our Advent journey will be rich and rewarding!

Isaiah 64:1-9          Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19          I Corinthians 1:3-9         Mark 13:24-37

             Today is a day of worship! What a joy it is when the people of God gather to worship the Lord.  All creation sings as people of faith live their lives in an act of praise. Thanks for being a person who values worship!
If you open the song book of the Psalms and turn to number 80, you will discover that it was originally written for the tune “The Lilies of the Covenant.” We don’t know what that tune sounded like but we do know that the lyrics have chorus and verse. The main body of the song is a cry to God to hear the plight of the people. You can hear the depth of their tears in the refrain that is repeated three times in a fairly short Psalm.
Restore us, Lord God Almighty;
Make your face to shine on us, that we may be saved.

I wonder how many times they sang that song. How many days did they wait for restoration?  How long would they be willing to linger with the hope that the face of God would shine on them once again? How long would you be prepared to wait for a fresh glimpse at the savior? What would you be willing to do so you could be sure you were ready to receive the Messiah?
We are waiting. We are praying. We are singing out our prayers of hope as we describe the depth of our need to the Lord. As we wait, as we prepare, as we worship, as we experience your Word…restore us, Lord God Almighty! Make your face to shine on us, that we may be saved. Come, Lord Jesus!    ²

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