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.
The heaving lifting of Advent rests in preparing our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus, live into God’s continued presence on earth in the Holy Spirit, and look forward to that time when Christ will return to redeem the whole of creation. I confess that it’s often uncomfortable to consider the second coming- not because I don’t believe it will happen, but because it seems like any time there’s a crazy Christian in the news, they are spouting some kind of ridiculousness about Jesus coming back in the next 24 hours. Maybe part of what it means for me to prepare my heart this Advent is that I discard my discomfort. The return of Christ, after all, reminds us that God is not done with this earth. The psalmist wrote this prayer in the hope that one day a messiah would be sent to restore God’s people. I wonder if we could use this prayer as we look forward with confidence to the day that God will complete his redemptive work and “stir up [His] might and come to save us!”