Shepherd Restore us!

“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph like a flock.
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth…
Stir up your might
    and come to save us!

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

O Lord God of hosts,..
You have fed [your people] with the bread of tears
    and given them tears to drink in full measure…

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

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
    you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    it took deep root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
    the mighty cedars with its branches.
It sent out its branches to the sea
    and its shoots to the River.
Why then have you broken down its walls,
    so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
The boar from the forest ravages it,
    and all that move in the field feed on it.

Turn again, O God of hosts!
    Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
    the stock that your right hand planted,
    and for the son whom you made strong for yourself…
But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
    the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
Then we shall not turn back from you;
    give us life, and we will call upon your name!

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
    Let your face shine, that we may be saved!” Psalm 80:1-5,7-15,17-19

An attentive shepherd loves, cares for, and leads his sheep to sustenance and safety. He leads and lets wander, and rescues the erring and lost. He uses crook when needed, and binds the broken to his chest to heal and learn the language of his constant faithfulness. It is the shepherd’s nature to restore. Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! (Psalm 23:1-6; John 10:11,14-16)

A shepherd hears and knows each sheep, and they recognize His voice. He discerns every cry, and ministers to confusion, treasures confession, responds to consternation, meets desperation. To this God we can call and seek His face, and know we are heard and that He responds according to His grace and goodness. Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!

Are we languishing in discipline or vitality? God restores! Are we uncertain about the future? The shepherd knows! Do we struggle with bitterness or anger? He heals and transforms! Are we wrestling with regret or shame? He comforts and renews! Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!

“Restore in us, O God,
the splendor of your love;
renew your image in our hearts,
and all our sins remove.

O Spirit, wake in us
the wonder of your power;
from fruitless fear unfurl our lives
like springtime bud and flower.

Bring us, O Christ, to share
the fullness of your joy;
baptize us in the risen life
that death cannot destroy.

Three-personed God, fulfill
the promise of your grace,
that we, when all our searching ends,
may see you face to face.” ~Carl P. Daw (1944-)

Lord, revive my heart and restore me to full joy and gladness found in You alone.

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