Weekly Devotional for August 8, 2022
By Dan Schwerin
Psalm 80:1-2, 8-19
Yesterday my wife Julie and I were baking in 90° heat on a porch with poets. It may be an occupational hazard that my ears generally tune in to United Methodists. Yesterday I was with very gifted, generous, and informed people concerned that this fall the Supreme Court will rule that gerrymandering should be sent back to the states, and that states will be given more oversight in elections, electors, and the handles of democracy will be in the hands of gerrymanderers. They were concerned for ectopic pregnancies and women who carry them post Roe. Climate justice. Marriage equality. There was a tone of deep lament. One poet asked, "what are we giving the next generation?"
Enter my grandson stage left. If all goes as we hope, he will be born the day this devotional appears. A new generation is being born into our stewardship. Psalm 80, in the King James Version, ends with a prayer: "turn us, O Lord, God of Hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved."
It is a text of prayerful hope that we would be face to face with God in a new way. Notice according to this psalm, we will always fail to turn ourselves but we can allow ourselves to be turned. This is a prayer that God would lift us, study our faces, and we would see the face of holiness in ways that heal and save. Turn us into healers, O Lord, and repairers of Shalom!
What if we did the next right thing and lived in ways that bless to the seventh generation? I have made baptismal vows to my other grandchildren promising to do all in my power to nurture them. This is not a starter planet. There is no Planet B. There are no jobs on a dead planet.
Turn us, O Lord.
May it be so.
Justice and mercy to you and to us.