Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Would you like to be in good company? I mean really, really good company! In Psalm 85, appointed for this third week of Advent, we read in verses 10-11, “Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky” (ESV). Where are God’s people? They are right in the middle of this meeting. They are getting kissed from both sides at once, like my granddaughters do. Sometimes we have built a “hug sandwich” where the beloved one is the cheese and the parents or grandparents are the bread.
The Christian, redeemed by God’s loving sacrifice on behalf of sinners, has suddenly been placed in the middle of this loving melee! We’re stuck between faithfulness and righteousness. We’re right in the middle of righteousness and peace. We’re being run over by love and faithfulness from opposite sides. There’s no escaping God’s mercy.
Does it always seem like we are in this position? Not at all, nor did it for the Psalmist. In verses 4-7 we cry out for restoration, for God to lay down his indignation, for his anger to go away, for his salvation to be shown. We often find ourselves in a place of fear and doubt.
But God . . .
Our Lord has come, born of a virgin, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, at the right time, in the right place, not clinging to his divine kingly authority but suffering as one of us, to bring us to God. He knows that we aren’t able to live that sinless life. He knows that we won’t keep God’s law perfectly. He knows that we are ultimately powerless to redeem ourselves.
But God . . .
puts in the middle of that cosmic pile-up, treats us with his favor, and redeems us out of all sin and death for eternal life. Thanks be to God.
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