Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after Populus Sion, The Second Sunday in Advent

Posted on December 14, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Jeremiah 30:1-22 (NKJV)
30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 “Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying: ‘Write in a book for yourself all the words that I have spoken to you. 3 For behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,’ says the LORD. ‘And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.'”
4 Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah. 5 “For thus says the LORD:
‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. 6 Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? 7 Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
8 ‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck, and will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them. 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.
10 ‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the LORD, ‘Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished.’
12 “For thus says the LORD:
‘Your affliction is incurable, your wound is severe. 13 There is no one to plead your cause, that you may be bound up; You have no healing medicines. 14 All your lovers have forgotten you; They do not seek you; For I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased. 15 Why do you cry about your affliction? Your sorrow is incurable. Because of the multitude of your iniquities, because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you.
16 ‘Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; Those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey. 17 For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD, ‘because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.”‘
18 “Thus says the LORD:
‘Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; The city shall be built upon its own mound, and the palace shall remain according to its own plan. 19 Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. 20 Their children also shall be as before, and their congregation shall be established before Me; And I will punish all who oppress them. 21 Their nobles shall be from among them, and their governor shall come from their midst; Then I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach Me; For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?’ says the LORD. 22 ‘You shall be My people, and I will be your God.'”
On account of our sin we have been led into a captivity that leads to death. We are in bondage to enemies who seek to take our life. We are led into temptation daily and often. Daily and often we fail in resisting that temptation. We are the cause of our own destruction. We have led ourselves into captivity.
Our dear Lord Jesus Christ, however, cannot stand to see our daily affliction. Therefore, He came to the place where we were being held in bondage and freed us from our jailer. He took upon Himself our punishment, paid our ransom, and suffered what we deserved to suffer. Our sorrow was incurable by anything that we did. If not for our Lord Jesus, we would still be stuck in captivity, doomed to eternal death.
Conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary, our dear Lord Jesus entered into our flesh to redeem us and bring us back into His Kingdom. He defeated our captors and destroyed our adversaries. He healed our wounds and restored us to health. He brings us into the promised Land, where we will enjoy living with Him and all the saints for all eternity. For this great gift of our Lord we give thanks. We sing and make merry with psalms and hymns. We are His people and He is our God.
We pray: Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Thine Only-Begotten Son, so that by His coming we may be enabled to serve Thee with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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