This e-vo is coming out a bit early since I will be out of town with our high school students on a mission trip to Benton Harbor, MI. Please keep our travels and the work that God does in us and through us in your prayers.
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky. The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
The images in our appointed psalm text of very different realms making connection are stunning.
Love and faithfulness will meet.
Righteousness and peace will kiss.
Faithfulness will spring up and righteousness will look down.
There is a balance that is to be had in the Christian faith. Reconciliation and love and faithfulness and peace and other such things are one part. Jesus came to work these things through his life and his teachings. People are drawn in, called to be faithful and restored to a peaceful relationship. Images of restored lepers, tax collectors at the dinner table, forgiven adulteresses and forgiven repentant thieves show us this side.
There is also a call to righteousness and justice and sacrifice and discipleship which composes the other part. Jesus came to call followers. John called out for repentance. People are drawn out, called to choose the narrow way and be ready to lay it all down. Images of severed heads at king’s parties and empty nets left behind and worship in catacombs and conscientious objectors show us this side. In God these two sides come into intimate contact. Through Jesus we see these things wed together. In the church we are called to allow God to work this union as well.
God isn’t done creating these holy and unusual hybrids.
God shape us into loving, righteous, welcoming, sacrificing, peaceful and confronting followers all to your glory. Amen.