A Passage and A Prayer

 

12/8/17

“He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God….He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and the people with equity.” Psalm 98:3, 9
 
Here are words that will take all the joy out of Christmas:  “This year, you’ll get exactly what you deserve.”  Oh, no! No matter what age we are, that’s not good news. We might hear that news from the last verse quoted above, “He will judge the world with righteousness.” Does that mean this Christmas we’re going to get only what we deserve?
 
But now, let’s hear the last verse of our hymn, Joy to the World. Listen to the news of his Christmas righteousness:
 
            He rules the world with truth and grace And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders of His love.
 
What is the righteousness and truth that he uses for judgment? The good news is that it is his own righteousness. The righteous standing of Jesus with His Father is the gift of Christmas. He gives us this righteous standing and so the Father sees us as he sees his own Son. That’s the wonder of his love, a love that he should have kept for his Son alone, but he gave it to us. No wonder the song has us repeat this line, “And wonders of his love, and wonders, wonders of His love.”
 
So here’s the good news. We won’t get what we deserve, but we’ve already gotten what only God’s Son deserves. He has shared his truth and grace with us and that’s the wonder of his love.
 
Our Heavenly Father, thank you for the gifts of truth and grace and the wonder of your love. Thank you for seeing us as you see your Son. Remind us that every Christmas we get the gifts of your mercy and grace. Amen.