Wednesday of the Week of Advent II
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, for there is no help in them…
The Lord sets the prisoners free, the Lord opens the eyes of the blind; the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord cares for the stranger; he sustains the orphan and widow…
The Lord shall reign forever, your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.
Hallelujah! (Psalm 146)
Our reading for today reminds us of all the Messianic prophecies preparing the world for the coming of the Christ. Together with this psalm, we think of Isaiah 35, 49 and 61, and Jesus’ own understanding of his ministry in Matthew 11 and Luke 4. What a blessing that we have prophecy in the Old Testament and fulfillment in the New! But even more, what a blessing that we have a Savior who is Christ the Lord who frees, gives sight, lifts up, loves, cares and sustains!
The message of the psalm is that we not put our trust or reliance in the wrong places or on the wrong persons. Few people in our North American context would place our ultimate trust in government, president or prime minister. It is surprising, at times, that people seem to trust too much in “children of earth,” whether parents, spouses or others. At the same time, we trust too much in job, bank account, 401k, worldly treasures which, while important, can be lost in the blink of an eye or a turn of the economy. It’s not that we shouldn’t have a job or income, it’s that we ought not ultimately place our trust and reliance in them.
Writing in the Large Catechism on the commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2) Martin Luther wrote, “A god is that to which we look for all good and where we resort for help in every time of need; to have a god is simply to trust and believe in one with our whole heart…Now I say, whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is your god.”
It is God who delivers us, through Jesus Christ, born of Mary, conceived of the Holy Spirit. Let us look to him for all good and to fulfill our every need!
Prayer: Hallelujah, Lord God! I will praise you as long as I live and place all my trust and confidence in Jesus Christ my Savior!
Advent Action: Read the prophecies mentioned above: Isaiah 35, 49 and 61.
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.