Sunday, December 13, 2020

Monday prior to Advent 4


Psalm 19:1, 4c, 5–6; Antiphon, Isaiah 45:8a, b—The antiphon for this coming Sunday, the last Sunday in the season of Advent asks that God would open the heavens and ‘let the clouds rain down righteousness,’ and that, correspondingly, He would open the earth, ‘that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit.’

Both of these things have come to pass. When the Son of God assumed flesh, and came to earth to be born a man, righteousness rained down. And this was not without effect, for He brought salvation which bears fruit in believers, as they live out their righteousness in Christ.

The righteousness which Christ accomplished is called a gift. It is through this righteousness that God is both a just God and a Savior of His people. Reading just a little further in Isaiah 45 we are told,"…there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.” Thus St. Paul will teach in Romans 5:17, “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!"

Sin always brings death. Death became king. It ruled the lives of every person born from Adam. By contrast, Paul writes, those who receive the abundance of God's grace and the free gift of righteousness will themselves reign in life through Jesus. Receiving God's justification by faith in Christ not only frees us from the kingdom of death, it allows us to rule in a kingdom of life as the very children of God.

Collect for Psalm 19: Heavenly Father, you have filled the world with beauty. Open our eyes to see your gracious hand in all your works, that rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness, for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.[1]


[1] Collect for Psalm 19, For All the Saints, A Prayer book for and by the Church Vol.III © 1995 The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi, NY

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