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 three-year lectionary.
In Psalm 111 all is well. The Psalmist praises the Lord with a whole heart, among a whole people, and the Lord’s works are comprehensively good. They are everlasting (v. 3), memorable (v. 4), and they are done with understanding for our frailty (v. 5). God’s works are done remembering his everlasting covenant, which is worldwide (v. 6). He does what is true and just, giving his people a reliable word (v. 7). This is truly a good message for the season of Christmas.
Something which Christians need to remember, and to remind our world of, is that the Lord we worship is just this kind of God. He does what is good, and he has revealed that good in his word. When we fail, when we offend, when we act corruptly, we are in fact violating God’s word and his character. We beg the Lord for forgiveness. Yet our neighbors don’t always see or appreciate that. They want to judge God on the basis of his people, or they want to condemn Christianity because it acts like what it is, a fellowship of people who confess they sin against God and their neighbors. Yet this is not the character of the Lord as revealed in Scripture.
Sometimes people want to tell others, especially Christians, that they are privileged people and should feel guilty about that privilege. Especially in times of celebration such as the Christmas season. What about those other people who are less privileged? What about those who don’t have loving and caring families who are happy together? What about those who have precious little to celebrate? Should we not feel guilty about that? Well, yes and no. God’s people are a people of undeserved privilege. This is a good thing. If we needed to earn the forgiveness and grace of God we would never be able to do so. Anything good that happens is a result of God’s undeserved grace. We are privileged indeed. From this position of privilege, then, we can and should strive to bring others into the same position. That’s the heart of Psalm 111 verses 9-10. God has given his covenant promises. He has sent redemption, which is delivered to all who take God at his word and believe that he has brought forgiveness and reconciliation. Does it take time to learn how to live that out? Certainly. But it’s worth everything, and it’s not really that complicated. In Christ, God has provided forgiveness. As God’s forgiven people, we can have a hand in reconciling the world to God and to one another. That’s the rightful privilege of the Christian, and the rightful joy of the Christmas season and of every other season.
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