Advent Devotions 2017

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November 30, 2017

Posted: November 30, 2017

A Devotion for Your Day

by Erin Swenson-Hatzung

Psalm 85:1-13

For some of us, this is a pretty nostalgic time of year. As we unwrap each Christmas ornament or experience the warming smells coming from the kitchen, we are flooded with memories from the past; maybe of times when things were a bit simpler or less chaotic or stressful. We may long for those times again or wonder where God is present among the brokenness of our lives today.

In the first few verses of this Psalm we hear the prayer of God's people as they look back on the "good ole days." The psalmist writes words of thankfulness as they reflect on a time when they experienced God showing favor and restoring the Israelites. However, those times have past and in verses 4-7, God's people now sit in a place of brokenness and darkness again, and they pray that God will once again restore them. And they are persistent, for they know God and they know that God can and will restore them again as promised.

Many of us can probably relate to the psalmist in verses 4-7. We live amongst and see the brokenness in this world. We long for and cry out for God to restore us again. Do we rest in the assurance of God's faithfulness? Do we truly believe that God is present and working towards restoration in the middle of our brokenness? And are we allowing ourselves to be a part of God's restoration and healing of the world?

Looking back on the "good ole' days" is not a bad thing, but we also must look forward with hope; knowing that God has never and will never leave us. To really know God is to know and experience God's continual love, grace and restoration in our own lives and in the world. It's because of this love and grace we've received that we may focus our lives on being a light of hope for others.

Gracious God, we thank you for your never ending grace that continually works to restore us. Remind us in this advent season of the hope that we have in your continual presence in our lives, and instill in us the desire to be a source of hope and light in the world. Amen.

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Erin Swenson-Hatzung serves as a Youth Director for middle school and high school students.

Contact Erin: or 952-985-7367