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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Come Lord Jesus!

Old buidling with LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR written on it.

Psalm 94 LBW

1 O LORD God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, show yourself. 2 Rise up, O Judge of the world; give the arrogant their just deserts. 3 How long shall the wicked, O LORD, how long shall the wicked triumph? 4 They bluster in their insolence; all evildoers are full of boasting. 5 They crush your people, O LORD, and afflict your chosen nation. 6 They murder the widow and the stranger and put the orphans to death. 7 Yet they say, “The LORD does not see, the God of Jacob takes no notice.” 8 Consider well, you dullards among the people; when will you fools understand? 9 He that planted the ear, does he not hear? He that formed the eye, does he not see? 10 He who admonishes the nations, will he not punish? He who teaches all the world, has he no knowledge? 11 The LORD knows our human thoughts; how like a puff of wind they are. 12 Happy are they whom you in struct, O Lord, whom you teach out of your law; 13 to give them rest in evil days, until a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the LORD will not abandon his people, nor will he for sake his own. 15 For judgment will a gain be just, and all the true of heart will follow it. 16 Who rose up for me against the wicked? Who took my part against the evildoers? 17 If the LORD had not come to my help, I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence. 18 As often as I said, “My foot has slipped,” your love, O LORD, upheld me. 19 When many cares fill my mind, your consolations cheer my soul. 20 Can a corrupt tribunal have any part with you, one which frames evil into law? 21 They conspire against the life of the just and condemn the innocent to death. 22 But the LORD has be come my stronghold, and my God the rock of my trust. 23 He will turn their wickedness back upon them and destroy them in their own malice; the LORD our God will destroy them.

December 7, 2021 Advent is a season of longing, of yearning for our God to come. We may have sentimental feelings when we remember the coming God in the form of a human baby over 2,000 years ago, but we should also be filled with discomfort and anticipation. The world is not right. There are evils and injustices everywhere we turn, every time we turn on the TV or scroll through the news on our smartphones: the killing of innocents, young and old, born and unborn; violence and cultural bloodlust; judges and juries that seem to allow grievous wrongs; active racism, prejudice and the advocacy for ethnic supremacies; the abandonment of the widows, the elderly, and the orphans in our midst; the rejection of refugees, strangers, and all those who need good news both materially and spiritually. We are sad. We are angry. We are also ashamed of our own contributions to these tragedies, our “thoughts, words, and deeds” both “done and left undone.” We are utterly unable to “love the Lord [our] God” or “love [our] neighbors as [ourselves]” (Matt. 22:37, 39). Like many prophets and psalmists, we, too, call out to Jesus, “how long?” Come, Lord Jesus!

If you’ve been following along the devotional this Advent, you surely have noticed that each Tuesday evening, we have prayed Psalm 94, traditionally called Deus ultionum or “God of vengeance.” Today’s passage in Amos gives us a taste of what that vengeance looks like. As Christians, we believe that God is restoring and renewing His whole creation, but that means that He will root out any form of evil that serves as an obstacle to His purpose — an eternal relationship of life and love with His people. To those who perpetuate injustices, advocate on behalf of evils, and do not know the Lord, his “snow-white hair,” “fiery eyes,” “bronze feet,” and “roaring voice” are the terrifying condemnations of the Law (Rev. 3:14-15). But to those of us that follow in the way of Christ; participate in the Good News of the Kingdom by word and deed; and suffer with Him on this earth; welcome the life-giving Gospel of the God of vengeance. Come, Lord Jesus!

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