Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 80 which calls upon God to “rouse” – to wake up, to look toward us from heaven, and to take care of us. Perhaps the psalm calls us to wake too????
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,Psalm 80: 2-3;15-16
From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
Take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the we whom you yourself made strong.
Our Gospel places us with Jesus, as he descends the mountain after the Transfiguration.
He speaks about two great prophets – Elijah and John the Baptist:
- Elijah – the fiery reformer who “turned back hearts” to the day of the Lord
- John – who cried out in the desert, “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
These prophets open the door to our final approach to Christmas – our last few days to heed their advice and ready our hearts for the awesome, yet humble, coming of Christ.
- Is there anything in my heart that needs to be turned back to God — any energy, dedication or insight that has shifted from God’s Way to my own selfish way?
- Is there anything I must prepare so that my life is ready to receive Christ?
These are the questions Elijah and John offer us today.. Praying Psalm 80, we might ask that God care for us and show us the way to the Christmas Light.
Poetry: The God We Hardly Knew – Saint Oscar Romero
No one can celebrate
a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud, those who,
because they have everything,
look down on others,
those who have no need
even of God – for them there will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry, those who need
someone to come on their behalf,
will have that someone.
That someone is God.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.
Music: Prepare the Way, O Zion – Fernando Ortega (Lyrics below)
Prepare the way O Zion
Your Christ is drawing near
Let every hill and valley
A level way appear
Greet One who comes in glory
Foretold in sacred story
O blest is Christ that came
In God’s most holy name
Christ brings God’s rule O Zion
He comes from heaven above
His rule is peace and freedom
And justice truth and love
Lift high your praise resounding
For grace and joy abounding
Fling wide your gates, O Zion
Your Savior’s rule embrace
And tidings of salvation
Proclaim in every place
All lands will bow rejoicing
Their adoration voicing