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Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Not too long ago, the children’s choir sang during midweek moorings. The fellowship hall was packed with parents and the food line was unusually long. As each choir made their way up to the stage to sing, Louise introduced the teachers and gave some information about what the children were learning. One group in particular used instruments. It was exciting to see little ones holding their instruments, ready to make music together. Before the children began, Louise mentioned that they were learning about instruments, how to hold them, and how to show the teacher they were ready to begin. Louise said, “Now this is their ready position. Children can you show everyone you are ready?” The children held their instruments just so and stood still waiting for further instructions from the teacher. They were ready.
It seems like during this first week of Advent we could use a ready position. Some sign, some behavior, or posture of our soul, to let God know that we are ready to receive any and all that God has for us in the coming weeks, especially on that day that we mark as the day of Jesus’ birth. Of course, many of us are constantly at the ready. We are ready to order at a restaurant, we are ready to pick up our children from school, we are ready for to get what we want. But when was the last time you made yourself ready for God?
Psalm 80 is a wonderful “readying” psalm. The psalmist is looking to God, ready for God to move, to do something. In this case, the psalmist wants God to restore. Examined from an English language perspective, re-store, means to store again. But at a closer glance, restore means to bring back what once was, to supply what once was depleted. At times the psalmist is referring to food or water, things the psalmist remembers God supplying in the past. But not this time, this time the psalmist wants God to restore the people. “Restore us”, the psalmist prays or sings.
This Advent season gives us an opportunity to practice being in our ready position, just like those children with their instruments. But this eightieth Psalm reminds us that it is God who can bring us back, who can actually do the readying if you will. What we can do is pray this prayer along with the psalmist that God restore us, make us ready, cause us to return from the place where we were, to the God we serve. And in our prayer, we are in a sense, opening up ourselves to be made ready, by the God who alone can restore us.
Are you ready?
Rev. Tasha Gibson is the Minister to Younger Adults + Discipleship at First Baptist Church.
Read more about Tasha.