Psalm 80

Sometimes the answer is ‘no’.

Its a psalm/prayer about the fall of the Northern Kingdom, which never was restored. When it fell, the few faithful jewish people immigrated and became absorbed into the Southern Kingdom.  Most lost their identity as a chosen people of God.

God is called Israel’s ‘shepherd’, the only other time in Psalms apart from 23.

Israel is compared to a vine planted from Egypt, It has been glorious, but now the vineyard is unprotected and has been overrun by strangers and its grapes stolen.

Its a plea for God to shine his face on them. For his anger to stop. For him to be the shepherd, to tend his vineyard again. To restore them.

The King of the Northern Kingdom, is compared to a branch of God’s vine, a Son of Man, God’s right hand.

But we know that only the prophets carried on God’s word in that time, none of the Kings were faithful.

The answer was ‘no’ until Jesus came, of Galilee in the former Northern Kingdom.

A melancholy return to work today. The daughter of one of the workers, who as a baby got a brain cancer diagnosis a year ago has died.  It was inevitable, but its also an unimaginably sad occurrence.  The memorial is Friday.

And the head of my department is not out of his medical issues, he’s been ordered two months off. Before Christmas, he was described as having a blood clot in his lung, now they have found multiple blood clots apparently.  I don’t really understand, but it doesn’t sound good.

I’m the sole survivor of a branch that has ceased to be, with no news of employment prospects. My supervisor is the wife of the guy who is so unwell.  She has 3 kids, her own job and worries, and is 1000 km south in Victoria. She has a lot to deal with.

I have stuff to go on with, deadlines in fact. But its not exactly an optimistic new year welcome.

Feeling adrift and somewhat forgotten, I’m braced for the answer to be ‘no’ to continuing to work here after my contract extension to Feb expires, and braced for the answer to be slow.

That’s how it goes sometimes.

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