Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13 (NRSV)
1Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin. Selah
8Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
“Surely his salvation is at hand …” summarizes the message of Advent. But what is the real result—what is the content—of that salvation? Forgiveness, full pardon, restoration, steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness, peace, good gifts, and God’s glory among us. All given by God. It is almost as if the psalmist struggles to find adequate words to describe what the LORD God brings and what happens when God comes. God speaks and, in God’s speaking, comes to us. We are hearers of God’s promise and recipients of God’s gifts. Can we find the words to describe them? And will we trust and live in their reality?
Help us to believe and trust that your salvation is at hand. Help us to know the depth and breadth of what that salvation means. Amen.