Thursday after the First Sunday after Christmas
Scripture: Isaiah 42:1-9 (NKJV)
1 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles. 2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause His voice to be heard in the street. 3 A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. 4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, till He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands shall wait for His law.” 5 Thus says God the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, Who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it: 6 “I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, 7 to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. 8 I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. 9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
“He will bring forth justice for truth.”
Our God comes down to be with us in the flesh. Thanks be to God! He has not come to judge us yet; He did not come to snuff a weak, smoldering faith, or to trample one who is already bruised and broken. He shows patience, kindness, and forbearance. He gives us time and opportunity to hear His Word and repent of our failings. He would have us all be saved and come to the knowledge of our forgiveness in His blood from the Cross.
But He is always a just God. Our Lord Jesus does not come first as a judge, but He still upholds righteousness. If we call Him a liar and deny that we are sinners in light of His holiness, then there is nothing left for us but His righteous judgment, which condemns us and casts us out in our obstinate faithlessness.
Jesus Christ will come again in glory to judge both the living and the dead. As long as there is time, there is also His mercy, because the Gospel of forgiveness in Him is still preached, and His Holy Spirit still comes to bring us to repentance and faith. Thanks be to God for this! May He keep us steadfast in His truth and righteousness, and find us faithful according to His Spirit when He does return as judge.
We pray: Lord God, be merciful toward us sinners and do not take Your Spirit or Your Word from us, but give us the joy of Your salvation in Jesus Christ. Amen.