Advent: Bread of Tears – Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

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!

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

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.

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

17   But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
          the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18   Then we will never turn back from you;
          give us life, and we will call on your name.

19   Restore us, O LORD God of hosts;
          let your face shine, that we may be saved.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit is silent meditation five to fifteen minutes paying attention to the deep breath.
  • As you pay attention to your deep breath, lower or close your eyes as you feel led, focusing on your interior space.
  • Notice the tears in you.
  • Embrace the tears in you.
  • Release the tears to let them speak to you.
  • Invite the tears to feed you.
  • Journey toward the manger with tears.
  • Hear the good news of this Advent season.  Your tears will nourish you.
  • How will you call upon God’s name?
  • Give thanks to God for this gift of Tears and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 22, 2019, the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)

Isaiah 7:10-16
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Romans 1:1-7
Matthew 1:18-25

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction certification, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

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