Advent Devotion – December 2 – Anne Donnell

Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will praise you forever;
from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise.

Psalm 79

Scripture: Psalm 79

Such devastation, such suffering. Murder. Destruction. Contempt, scorn, derision. No one could survive all this, could they? Is there even a tiny ribbon of hope, like a small thread seen at a distance? Oh, come closer. It’s a stream. A clear, crystalline stream, pure, life sustaining. Beautiful.

Are purity and beauty only dreams? Have they died in the violence, the corruption? The cycle of disease?

Or is hope to be abandoned because the fiery anger of God mandates its absence? Can our voices not be raised to protest, to beg, to bargain?

Children boldly say, scream even, their opposition to parental authority. So the Psalmist insists he can speak his heart to God. The Psalmist insists he can point out to God the advantages of change, the advantages of ending the seemingly endless outpouring of disaster. The advantages of redirecting this flood of pain onto those who have taken joy in creating suffering, those whose contempt (that awful word) is directed toward not only the people of God, but toward God Himself.

(Remember we’re capable of all that, also.)

And when these horrors are removed? When people can sigh in relief and look around at what’s left and tell children the future looks bright again? What must be done?

What must happen when God graciously lets us win the argument?

Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will praise you forever; from generation to generation we will proclaim your praise (Psalm 79:13).

Are we, the church, the Body of Christ, “from generation to generation” sending forth praise? This is not just a recommendation to individuals who like to wear crosses around their necks. This is a training program for the ages of humankind. Are we, the people for whom the sweet Baby Jesus grew up and died, whispering, speaking, shouting praise?

Anne Donnell

Core Idea: Whisper, speak, and shout praises to God.

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