Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 7:10-8:8; 1 Peter 3:1-22
To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. (Psalm 25:1-2, from the Introit for Advent 1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Tomorrow begins the new Church Year. The Season of Advent is the season of waiting and expectation. It begins by picking up where the Church Year ended, as we eagerly await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in glory. It then transitions into the expectant and hopeful waiting of God’s Old Testament people as we await the coming of the Savior, born on Christmas.
Our sins give us much to be ashamed about. Our enemies—the devil, the world and our sinful nature constantly attack us. So as Advent begins, we cry out in the words of the Psalm above that the Lord not let these sins and enemies take us down.
What is the Lord’s answer? The coming of His Son. When Jesus comes, He is lifted up on the cross to save us from our sins. Even in the humiliating nakedness of his shameful public execution, Jesus is not ashamed to confess His trust in His Father and to acknowledge His disciples as His own. Even when it seemed that the Jews and the Romans and finally Hell itself had defeated Him, Jesus’ enemies do not triumph over Him. The devil is cast down. Death loses its sting. Sin is bled for and buried in the tomb. No enemies stand against Jesus.
Now, when you say those words, you can be sure that no enemies stand against you. When you head to the Divine Service tomorrow, you can be certain, by your Baptism, and the preaching of Christ and His Body and Blood, that the Lord will never be ashamed of you and that your enemies will not triumph over you. They have been defeated by Christ.
To lift up your soul to the Lord is to be lifted up by Jesus. He was lifted up on the cross, so that by His salvation you would be lifted up to heaven. Rejoice in that triumph given to you by the Savior who has come and will soon come again. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Savior, rend the heavens wide; Come down, come down with mighty stride; Unlock the gates, the doors break down; Unbar the way to heaven’s crown. (LSB 355:1)