Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! ~Psalm 80:3,7,19
In Psalm 80, God’s first born, the nation of Israel, is in need of restoration or a “turning again” in their relationship with God. Ultimately, God is waiting for them and they are waiting for God. Perhaps, Advent is mostly about restored relationship. After all, God’s first born Son came to earth to relate to us on a human level. As a result you and I can receive the precious gift of salvation from the Father whose loving face shines upon us in the darkest hours of all our waitings.
As Israel waited, they cried out to God for restoration, for light, for salvation. While Mary waited, she praised God with these magnificent words:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
May all the shining lights of Christmas be a reminder to rejoice in the blessing of our restored relationship with God our Savior.