United Church of Christ

Living Psalm 80 - Advent 4

Living Psalms Book
Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.

Living Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
December 31/January 1
Advent 4--Sunday of Love

You, the one who leads Joseph as if he were a sheep

We imagine ourselves anointed,
sacred as Mary, the young, vulnerable virgin
giving birth in a strange land.

We fancy ourselves caretakers,
encircling the perfection of the newly born,
love wrapped in a fragile human frame.

We bend the knee, as humble as shepherds,
our gifts as inscrutable as myrrh
to a nativity’s young king.

But You, the one who leads Joseph
as if he were a sheep,
You know the truth.

We are as lost as the partner
whose wife’s story might make him
a laughingstock and an exile.

We are as in need of care as the parent
who shows up with a love
transcending genetics.

We are as foolishly proud as the magi
arriving unannounced after following
a strange and distant star.

You, who leads Joseph -
that old believer whose doubt
is as familiar as the story itself -
swaddle us in your love,
we who are lost, fragile, aching
for that strange and distant star.

Living Psalm.80:1-7, 17-19, for Advent 4, was written by Maria Mankin.

Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community. Editor, Maren Tirabassi

Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA.Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.

© Copyright 2019 Maria Mankin.  Permission granted by the author to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. 

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