Isaiah 57:14-59:21; Philippians 1:1-26; Psalm 71:1-24; Proverbs 24:9-10
“For this is what the high and lofty One says–
he who lives forever, whose name
“I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite
and lowly in spirit,
to revive the heart of the contrite.
I will not accuse forever,
nor will I always be angry,
for then the spirit of man would grow
faint before me–
the breath of man that I have created.
I was enraged by his sinful greed;
I punished him, and hid my face in
yet he kept on in his willful ways.
I have seen his ways, but I will
I will guide him and restore comfort
creating praise on the lips of the
mourners of Israel.
Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
Johann Scheffler penned the words to this hymn in the 1600s. But it’s words resonate in me today. I pray they speak words of comfort, hope and commitment to you as well:
“Come, follow me,” said Christ the Lord,
“All in my way abiding;
Your selfishness throw overboard,
Obey my call and guiding.
Oh, bear your crosses and confide,
In my example as your guide.
“I am the light; I light the way,
A godly life displaying;
I help you walk as in the day;
I keep your feet from straying.
I am the way, and well I show
How you should journey here below.
“My heart is rich in lowliness;
My soul with love is glowing;
My lips the words of grace express,
Their tones all gently flowing.
My heart, my mind, my strength, my all
To God I yield; on Him I call.
“I teach you how to shun and flee
What harms your soul’s salvation;
Your heart from every guile to free,
From sin and its temptation.
I am the refuge of the soul
And lead you to your heav’nly goal.”
Then let us follow Christ, our Lord
And take the cross appointed
And, firmly clinging to his word,
In suff’ring be undaunted.
For those who bear the battle’s strain
The crown of heav’nly life obtain.
Lord God, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ who bore the total weight of your anger over our sins as he hung on the Cross. There, his blood was shed, your anger appeased, your glory made known. And now, through faith in your Son’s work of salvation, you draw near to us–we who admit that we are sinful creatures and can do nothing of our own to merit this great gift of love and mercy. Grant us your grace to live this day, to walk in your ways to the glory of your high and holy Name, Amen.