Psalm 80 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 80

“Restore us, O God; let your face shine upon us,

and we shall be saved.” Psalm 80:3

Reflection:  It may seem strange to turn to this psalm on the day after Easter. Yes, I know, it was the next one on the list.  But it sounds penitential and pleading to me, like it is unfinished “Lent” business— not the joyful “Christ is risen” cries we heard yesterday.  On the other hand, the first Easter morning didn’t begin with trumpet sounds.  God in Christ had a lot of restoring to do.  I think of the male disciples not believing the women’s account that they had seen the Lord, of Thomas not able to believe his friends’ account of seeing Jesus—people whom he had spent weeks with on the road, of Judas lost to the twelve and the scars that it left, of Peter facing the risen Jesus for the first time after his embarrassing denial, of the disciples locked in a room together because of fear they were next to be arrested.  No, in the days following Christ’s resurrection, things were at loose ends and much restoration was needed.  It’s not surprising, then, that Jesus shows up to the terrified group and announces restoration words: “Peace be with you.”  However, that wasn’t a word simply to restore things between himself and his disciples; their relationships were not to go back to the way things were before.  No, Easter was more than a restoration; things had changed forever. They were transformed.  It was as if their world and what they held dear had been shaken up and tossed into the light as God created something new.  Do you ever wonder what new thing might God be creating in you?


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  What new thing God is still at work creating in you?

2. Or read all of Psalm 80 to discover how this verse fits into this psalm.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that is a window of this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s psalm  will be Psalm 81:1-4.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.


  1. So.Good. Transformation…I have always loved the verse that you selected…the concept of God’s face shining upon us is one that calms my heart. No wonder it is part of that beloved benediction…