Let Your Face Shine!

Sunrise over ruins in Turkey, 2011. 


Psa. 80:0   To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm.
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
and come to save us!

Psa. 80:3    Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Psa. 80:4    O LORD God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
our enemies laugh among themselves.

Psa. 80:7    Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.


Humanity, created in the image of God is to reflect The image. That is only possible when the face of God shines upon the people. It’s in this face to face relationship that we are able to discover our salvation. The people of Israel realized that they had moved far from God’s holy presence. The Psalmist cries out for restoration. The hope comes when God incarnate shines his face upon the people.  


We have nearly arrived at Christmas and yet, there continues to be anticipation. Little by little the light is dawning, and with it, great hope. The message is one of restoration, where all the wounds of the past can be healed in and through the presence of the Messiah. This is a place of wholeness where everything again makes sense, in light of Christ. 

This prayer of the Psalmist ought to be our cry. “Let your face shine!” It is when the face of Christ shines in and through us that we are restored in the image of God. We become vessels who reflect the image to the world. The flicker of light begins to shine, first in one person, and then another until there is brightness that fills the darkness. This is our responsibility as followers of Christ, to pass on the light. 

Many of us will attend a Christmas eve service in the next couple of days. Often there comes a time when the lights are dimmed, a candle is lit and then that light is passed to all the others present until the candles of light burn and fill the sanctuary. This represents the light of Christ, but also our responsibility in this world. If the face of God shines upon us, then we are to pass on the light. If we keep it to ourselves, eventually our candle will burn down and the light will be extinguished. If we pass it on, it will continue to burn in the life of another, and another, and another. 

I believe that this Advent season is a time for us to re-embrace revival. I believe that God is still in the business of miraculously entering this world and effecting transformation in the lives of those who seek him. This often happens in ways which we find hard to explain, for it is a miracle! Let’s embrace the miracle of advent and pass on the light of Christ. Do you hear the cry of the Psalmist, “Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved?” We are to be saved, and so are others. May the face of God shine, and may we reflect him well, lighting up our world and passing on that light in a great revival of God’s presence here on earth. Why not begin with advent? The light is dawning. 


Lord, restore me, O God of hosts. Let your face shine in and through me, that I, and others may be saved. Amen. 


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