Given all the tumultuous and difficult news we have experienced in our country during this year – from natural disasters to political unrest and bad behavior – it is difficult to muster up much courage for the future. Just in the past few weeks, however, it seems there is a crack in the fabric of our culture and a sweeping broom of hope has appeared to offer a monumental clearing if we just pay attention. From the Time Magazine designation of “The Silence Breakers” as the “Person of the Year” with the domino effect in Congress and the media to the special election in Alabama this past week, it seems that there is a rising of moral courage among us. What we need now is an ongoing watchfulness and the fortitude that will keep that metaphorical ball rolling. Psalm 80 gives us appropriate words of petition to the God we believe is at the heart of change. I offer it today as a sign of hope and solidarity as we await once again the Incarnation of Christ into the world.
Rise up, come strong among our tribes and clans, and with your overflowing love, recall us back to life, O God of all, so we may see the shining brilliance of your face. Yes, that will be enough for us, for we will be restored to you again. (Ancient Songs Sung Anew, Ps. 80: 2-3)