Overnight the new church year ticked over. I love it that we don’t follow everything about the world’s time; indeed… as far as Christmas and Easter goes, worldly time becomes centred in the incarnate and saving works of Christ. The first season of the new church year that we start today is called Advent. Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. This is distinct from a time of preparation for Christmas. Indeed, Advent is designed to be devotional as we reflect on what it is for Christ to come into our lives (through his Holy Spirit) and draw us into the life of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The recurring refrain of the 19 verses of Psalm 80 captures this well: ‘Restore us O God; make your face shine that we might be saved’ (v 3,7 and variations in 14 and 19). Psalm 80 is a lament Psalm; the original context being the destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the desolation therein and the need for restoration – a context that continues to resonate in so many areas of life, church and faith today. And so today through the words of Psalm 80 we will explore how God comes to us, renovates us and brings us to life in him.
November 30, 2017 Pastor Matt Bishop