An Advent Reflection by Lesley Shannon Hollely

"Restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved." - Psalm 80:7

I found this passage very peaceful and reassuring. My understanding is that it is a prayer to God to repair us and allow us to see God’s illumination and support, and in recognizing this, we will without a doubt be safe from any true harm. It baffles me sometimes how fitting a particular passage can be to the present times, and this one really hits the nail on the head. I feel the view into our nation’s countenance has truly been revealed through the course of the election. I hate to keep bringing it up, but I think that it would be a disservice to us all if we did. I believe that God is revealing to us how much work we still have left to bring everyone together, and before he is able to truly repair us, we have to open our eyes to the world. Or maybe the way that he repairs us, is by helping us to realize where we need to focus those repairs in ourselves. The passage is also full of hope. If God truly helps us see and understand what is around us, we will move into the future with hope and love for our fellow man no matter how scary it may seem. This prayer is encouraging us to connect to one another and work toward bridging the current divide. It pushes me to keep reaching out to those who are different than me in culture or appearance and to continue to know them more deeply.

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Grace Church Van Vorst  | 39 Erie Street  |  Jersey City, NJ 07302  |  Phone: 201-659-2211  |