Prayer of the Day
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without you nothing is strong, nothing is holy. Embrace us with your mercy, that with you as our ruler and guide, we may live through what is temporary without losing what is eternal, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Today’s Old Testament reading is rather short at two verses. But what powerful verses they are. It’s about the Great Day of the Lord. In today’s mindset we all think that it’ll be awesome and such. It’s not. You look back and realize the Old Testament Prophets meant it completely different. The Great Day of the Lord was something to be feared, not eagerly anticipated.
Psalm 98 (NRSV)
Praise the Judge of the World
1 O sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gotten him victory.
2 The Lord has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
8 Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
9 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.
“Idleness is the Devil’s workshop” so goes the old saying. Paul, in his letter to the Thessalonians seems to expound on it. We will all be judged either now or later. I’d rather be judged now and found worthy because of Christ’s blood. The ones Paul is talking about though, are the lazy bums. Every group, every congregation has a few. They want everyone else to do the work and then get credit for it. We all need to work, for every person is important, no matter how miniscule the job is.
In the gospel we first read about the destruction of Herod’s temple and then persecution. Christians shouldn’t be surprised at all the way the world is headed. We knew in advance, so don’t get up in arms about how we’re being persecuted. We need to wait patiently through this time and we will come out all the stronger in the end.