Preacher: “Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.”
Our world is topsy-turvey, and the priorities of humanity pull us to unhealthy places.
Preacher: “You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
Wait, this is about the ancient called and chosen people. This is about the Hebrews becoming the Israelites, and supplanting the nations that were there before. This about nations squashing and squeezing out other peoples and nations.
Preacher: “You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.”

Seeker: Preacher, other ideas and other people are not like “weeds” that need to be trimmed back or pulled out. Why would the psalmist have this perspective?
Why does any person or people believe their way is best and the only way? Abraham was called out from the masses in his hometown. Moses encouraged and Aaron lead the Hebrews to confirm to a strict code and behavior and punish all else. David conquered the surrounding nations and place them under his auspice.
And this happened under the rule of the Divine who also sent Jesus to die for all of humanity and creation? Of course, why not!
Preacher: “The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches; it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.”
The influence of the Divine was sent out along the ancient called and chosen people. Wait though, let me think about this. Yes, sent out . . . but was it received correctly and accurately?
Preacher: Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
It does seem that what was set up fell apart as the generations succeed one another; or more accurately, did not succeed!
Preacher: “The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.”

Seeker: Yes, I hear it now in the voice of the psalmist; the echo of the Old Testament passage, and the teaching from the Gospel passage. The world of the psalmist was topsy-turvey, but so few saw the disruption, so pleased with the way things seemed to be going for them. So often it seems that the ancient called & chosen people and current humanity have much in common. I was both correct and wrong in my first assumption. It is about all called and chosen people, but the psalmist is warning his listener and not commending what has happened.
Preacher: “Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted.” (Psalm 80:7-15)

Seeker: Restore us, Lord God, what what You originally intended for us. Straighten our crooked growing, and mend the vines & branches we have broken in our folly and our arrogance!
Preacher: Shalom & Selah, Seeker, Shalom & Selah!