Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
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.
I had intended this Advent season to reflect on the assigned Old Testament prophetic readings. The prophet Isaiah takes center stage during Advent. He speaks words of hope as we await the Savior’s coming. In this week’s reading, the text opens with the words, “Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.” [Isaiah 40:1]
But I am especially fascinated by the hopefulness found in the imagery of the psalm reading for this week, Psalm 85, a portion of which is found at the beginning of this post. In particular, I am drawn to verse nine: Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
It is a desire that we yearn for amid the tension that this nation has experienced in these past few weeks. Imagine what would be if righteousness and peace were to kiss. We pray, we struggle, we long to dispel those social, political, racial, and economic differences that divide us as a society.
And in the midst of this all, we cannot, we must not forget that we are children of God, created and formed in God’s image. God loves each and every one of us, despite our human flaws. God’s love lives within us, and we are called to be a reflection of that love toward others. It’s that simple, yet that complex.
I close with the following video in which the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, speaks to the issue of racial justice. The video runs less than three minutes. Listen and reflect. May God’s peace be with you in this Advent season.
Learn more about what the ELCA has to say about criminal justice and race, ethnicity and culture at: http://bit.ly/ELCAStatements.