Monday, December 7, 2020

Tuesday prior to Advent 3


Psalm 126—This psalm was composed when the Israelites returned from the Babylonian Exile. When God delivered them, their mouths were initially filled with laughter and their tongues with shouts of joy.

But the hardships they faced upon return tested their faith in the Lord’s promise to restore the fortunes of Zion. This psalm provides comfort that those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! Likewise, when we face unexpected hardships and suffering, we can take comfort that the Lord has done great things for us. The greatest thing He has done is restored us by the death of our Savior, His Son, Jesus Christ.

These words from the psalmist are repeated by the Savior in the words of the Beatitudes in His sermon on the mount. “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” –Matthew5:4 The Savior speaks of two realities. You will mourn. But you will be comforted.

Advent is a penitential season.  There is mourning. Specifically we mourn over the sins we have committed against God.  Sorrow for the fact that our sins brought God’s Son to the cross.

Yet, that agent of execution brings life. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. -1 Peter 2:24

Even in the Advent and Christmas cycle the cross is always before us. The birth of a baby led to the death of a man. That miserable death has saved us; and in that death all misery loss and sorrow is passing away. We anticipate that glorious day, When “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”-Revelation 21:4 Thus we are lead to pray, “Even so, come Lord Jesus, quickly come.” –Revelation 22:20

 Collect for Psalm 126 – Lord Jesus, our life and our resurrection, the tears you sowed in sorrow of your Passion brought the earth to flower on Easter morning. Renew the wonders of your power in the Church, so that, after the sorrows of our exile, we may come home to you in gladness and praise you now and forever.[1]

[1] Collect for Psalm 126, 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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