Advent Devotion 12-22-19

Sunday, December 22, 2019                                                           

 Psalm 25:1-6

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.

Whose Righteousness?

Psalm 25:1-6 is such an exemplary psalm. I mean if I could live my life like this, then everything would be perfect.  No shame. Enemies lose out. Walking in the way of the LORD.  The LORD teaching me his ways.  The LORD, granting me mercy and lovingkindness.  My children would be perfect.  My dog would never eat food off the table.  My wife would be perfect, well this one is already true, but you get the point. Sign me up!

So how do we attain such a perfect life?  Well, if we’re honest, we don’t.  The writer of this Psalm says that God is his chief desire, that he waits for God with unswerving devotion, that he trusts God beyond all things, that he seeks nothing more than to know God’s ways and to do God’s will.

But then he says something truly telling.  He reminds God of God’s mercy and of God’s steadfast love.  One would think that someone as upright as the Psalmist would not need to call upon God’s mercy and love.  He could stand on his own righteousness, the right paths, the truths that he has learned from God.  But according to Martin Luther, (and the Bible!), there is no one who can stand before God on the basis of his or her own righteousness.  The Psalmist knows it, too.  That is why he calls upon God’s history of mercy, and love and faithfulness, and not on his own.

On this first day after the longest night of the year, as we creep slowly, minute by minute into the light, we contemplate the gift of Jesus, the light of the world, given to us by the lovingkindness of our God.  The free gift of salvation!  Thank be to God.

Let us pray. Almighty God, we thank you for the gift of your Son and the joy of salvation!  Thank you for giving us what we would never have been able to receive otherwise.  Amen.


Submitted by: Britton Warner