Shepherd of Israel, I am listening!

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

You, who are enthroned upon the winged heavenly creatures.

Show yourself 2 before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!

Wake up me up to understand how you lead me!

Come to save us!

3 Restore us, God!

I long to see your face shine so that we can be saved! Forgive my distractibility!

4 Lord God of heavenly forces,

how long will I fume against your provision for me? How long will I ignore you?

5 You’ve fed us even when our disobedience brought us to tears;

you’ve given us water three times over because we have been stubbornly resistant!

6 Our selfishness has put us at odds with our neighbors;

our enemies make fun of us because we behave laughably.

7 Restore us, God of heavenly forces!

Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

The Israelites often expressed their self-pity over their difficult circumstances, some self-inflicted, others simply part of living life on life’s terms. It served neither them nor us well. How about we give it up for the Advent Season? Turn it in and ask for a refund. Instead, lean into the collective effervescence. In sickness and health. Conflict and camaraderie. Joy and sorrow. Getting our way or giving away our preferences for the sake of the tribe. How can we apply this to our decisions as we plan for our holiday festivities?

And maybe we can do what the Israelites got so very right - ask God to save and restore us so that we might see the value of singing in the rain, even if it is very, very uncomfortable.