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DATE Friday, December 5, 2008

How do we paint a picture of the blessings made known to us when


love and faithfulness meet, and righteousness and peace kiss. How do we best
depict the image of faithfulness springing up from the ground and righteousness
looking down from the heavens?

For the Israelites in exile, these words painted a picture of hope in the midst of pain
and suffering. They promised that a better day would come and that justice would
prevail -- because God was faithful, even in the face of our faithlessness and broken
promises.

For those living under the heel of the Roman Empire, these words described the
fulfillment of God’s promise, painted as the picture of the birth of a helpless infant,
born in a love that reached out to the world, even when the world rejected it and
drove nails through it on a cross.

Jesus is God’s righteousness alive in the flesh. He was the promise of justice who
walked among us, speaking of forgiveness, eating with sinners and healing the most
broken lines of the human heart.

Jesus is God’s peace. His healing words poured balm on the wounds of the
sorrowing and broken–hearted. Those burdened by sins of conscience, action
or inaction heard that they were forgiven. And at the end, God’s righteousness
became our peace, going to the cross, dying for us, and rising again for us.

At this season of the year, righteousness and peace embrace and kiss as we
celebrate his birth. Then, in response to such a gift, we go out and bring comfort
to the sorrowing, food to the hungry, and peace to those who know no peace.

Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You PRAYER Holy God, help us paint for others a picture of the way in which love,
forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin. Selah Let me peace and righteousness still kiss. May the Spirit given by the One who
hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his was love and faithfulness itself, bear fruit in our lives for the blessing of
faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Surely his salvation is at hand the world. Amen.
for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Steadfast love and
faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness
will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness
will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
Psalm 85: 1-2, 8-13 Christine Vogel, staff and alumna

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