Come to save us!” This is the hopeful cry of God’s people throughout the scriptures. Unfortunately, in many circles—both within and outside the church—the word saved has a rather
narrow or shallow meaning. It has become a code word for hypocrisy, intolerance, and even hateful judgments against other people. Surely, this isn’t what the psalmist has in mind when praying for God to “save.” So what does it mean to be saved? What are we saved from? And what are we saved for?
Psalm 80 was possibly written in a time of deep despair just prior to or following the Assyrian invasion of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The people cry out to God to fight for them, to restore what has been lost. We may not experience a conquering army, but other things invade and threaten to steal or destroy life—our lives as well as the lives of others. What things come to mind? Slavery to schedules, prejudice, resentment, racism, selfishness, fear, addiction, greed—anything that keeps us from loving God and loving our neighbor as ourselves. Perhaps God can save us from some of these things.
But what are we saved for? The psalmist prays to God as the Shepherd, an image that evokes care, guidance, sacrifice, protection, watchfulness, awareness of the dangers afoot and of the path toward safety and good pasture. God, like a good shepherd, can lead us along paths of peace and restored relationship with self, others, and God.
As those who have been so lovingly cared for, we are then called to share that same loving-kindness with others. We are saved for the purpose of love, mercy, compassion, justice, and joy. We are saved for sharing the life and love that God shares with us. And being saved becomes a blessing after all.

God, our Shepherd, save me from harmful living; save me for good! Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Mark 13:24-37

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Leccionario Semanal
November 27–December 3, 2017
Resumen de la Escritura

Advent begins not on a note of joy but of despair. Humankind has realized that people cannot save themselves; apart from God’s intervention, we are totally lost. The prayer of Advent is that Christ will soon come again to rule over God’s creation. The passages from Isaiah 64 and Psalm 80 express the longing of faithful people for God to break into their isolation and to shatter the gridlock of human sin. The New Testament texts anticipate with both awe and thanksgiving the coming of “the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Preguntas para la reflexión

• Read Isaiah 64:1-9. When have you found yourself in a disorienting setting? What was your cry to God? What response to your lament did you seek?
• Read Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19. What in you needs the restoration that only God can give?
• Read 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. How might you become a means of reconciliation in your family, your work setting, your city?
• Read Mark 13:24-37. What especially do you long for this Advent-Christmas? How can you participate in the transforming love of Christ to manifest a reconciling spirit?

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