Psalm 80:7-15 (NRSV)
Verse 7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Verse 8You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
Verse 9You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.
Verse 10The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;
Verse 11it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.
Verse 12Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
Verse 13The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.
Verse 14Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,
Verse 15the stock that your right hand planted.
Yesterday’s theme of the vineyard is carried forward in today’s psalm. The psalmist pleads for God to have mercy and save the vine of Israel who God brought out of Egypt in order to flourish in the promised land. For now that vineyard appears broken and wild beasts seem to be ravaging it.
As we look at the world around us today, we may have similar thoughts. War makes news every day. Violence seems to be an accepted reality in the daily lives of millions of people worldwide. Nations continue to rise against nations. The amount of money spent on military hardware staggers our minds. We expect the worst of one another and arm ourselves to protect us from our neighbor.
As we pray this psalm, may the God who created, redeemed, and sustains us grant us a vision of what God intends us to be: a vineyard producing the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.
Loving God, you have made us in your image. Give us grace to be the presence of Jesus in a world of conflict and turmoil. May we love others as you have loved us. Amen.