Reflections: Thursday of the First Week in Advent

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 23:5-8
Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 8:9-9:7; 1 Peter 4:1-19

The Lord is our righteousness. (Jeremiah 27:7)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord promises that He will raise up from the righteous branch of David a King who will reign with wisdom and justice. Unlike earthly kings who are selfish, fallible, and unjust, this King will be perfect. His kingdom will have no end, and people will come into it from the ends of the earth. 

Oh, what a great day for God’s people! No longer will they fear those around them. No longer will there be bloodshed, pestilence, and war. This King shall set up a wall around His people that no one can breach. Naturally, the people look forward to that day. They want to know when it will come and who that King will be. In grace and mercy the Lord tells Jeremiah the Name of this great King: The Lord is our righteousness.” 

What a title. God is telling His people that the King will come one day to lead and save them. This King will, by His very name, point out the truth. In the “Formula of Concord” we confess, “Christ alone is our Righteousness, who is true God and man, because in Him the divine and human natures are personally united with each other.” Jesus is the true King for whom the people of old have waited for so long. 

It is the same for us today. During the season of Advent, we await the coming of the Lord. The days pass, and the anticipation builds as we all wait for Christmas. The day that the Child born of Mary was laid in the manger is the day that “the Lord is our righteousness” came into this world.

Our sin has destroyed our relationship with the Father and has made us His enemy. You and I can never make ourselves righteous before God. It is only because of the true King and the sacrifice that He offered on the Cross that we are made right. Jesus is true righteousness for all mankind. Without Jesus, no one can ever be right with God, for Christ alone has died and been raised for the forgiveness of all our sins and has brought us into His kingdom. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Heavenly Father, we give thanks that Your righteousness has come into this world of sin. We pray that you would send forth Your Gospel into a world that needs to hear about the King. Continue to guide and direct us by your Holy Word so that we might remain alert until you return again. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen. 

Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is the pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.