Read Psalm 85:1-7

from Rev. Scott Thayer, Bethany Memorial Church,  and Chaplain of Bethany College

Maybe a good title for this passage would be “Living in the Meantime.” In the first three verses, the writer reflects on God’s faithfulness in the past, when God restored the fortunes of Israel and forgave the people’s sin. But the following four verses describe a different reality for the Psalmist. Now he and his people find themselves in need of restoration and forgiveness once more. And so he waits for what he hopes will be a renewal of God’s favor. How human this is; how representative these words are of us all! No sooner does one life crisis fade away than another one looms ahead. The challenge is for us to draw on God’s past goodness as a source of strength and hope to face whatever we will find around the next bend of the road. We wait for the promised deliverance, just as we wait for Advent. Each year Advent comes to remind us of God’s ever-present, never-changing promise to come to us and abide with us, even “in the meantime”.

O God, when the journey seems bleak and hope is almost gone, remind us of your faithfulness through so many past adventures so that we may be renewed to face whatever the new day brings.