Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016 
Psalm 25: 1 – 14 

Our theme for this week is love so well expressed in the hymn Love Came Down at Christmas (Common Praise 131). The concept of God’s love and forgiveness were already known to the prophets of the Old Testament, but the depth of God’s love and forgiveness didn’t seem to be known by the majority of the people.

For ordinary people, there was still a sense of having to follow the hundreds of rules found in the Torah in order to be “right” with God. There was a sense of having to repent “in sackcloth and ashes” in order to receive God’s forgiveness. The God of unconditional love seemed to be unknown. The God of the Prodigal Son was unheard of: the Father who ran out to embrace the son who had wasted his whole inheritance yet was welcomed home with a celebration—the father who was too impatient even to listen to his son’s words of repentance. What wondrous love is this? (Common Praise 400)

In Psalm 25 the Psalmist pleads with God, “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for I wait all day long. Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.”

In the birth of Jesus, we beheld the face of God, the unconditional love and forgiveness of God, the God who would stoop down to our level in order that we might become like God. For the first time we could “see” the face of God — “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. . .” (Colossians 1:15) Now we are called to mirror God’s love to the world. What an awesome task!

– Sr. Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, SSJD

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