Ps 74. Tony van Drimmelen. Advent is the time of the year when Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Emmanuel, “God with us.” Around us there are voices pleading with us to live without God, turning Christmas into a commercial and retail bonanza. We visit a time in the history of Israel when she thought God had left them. Their worship was under attack, the temple destroyed, and sacrifices halted. We feel their pain and hear their prayers crying out, how long? What they do in response to their situation demonstrates a trust and a confidence in God we can all have. God did answer their cries at Christmas. There is a certain kind of hope and a consistent joy in knowing God’s presence with us in the coming of the Christ child.