Today is Monday, the 30th of January, in the season of Epiphany.
May the peace of Christ be with you always!
The weather, apparently, is confused and thinks it is February. But it is two days early. We are having a “winter storm” today and tomorrow, maybe edging into Wednesday. I wouldn’t really call it a “storm,” but whatever. The temps will barely get above freezing today and tomorrow, with lows in the twenties. Wednesday morning, it is predicted to be 21, but will get up to 37 and stay above freezing. The rest of the week will be back to typical spring-like weather. There is some chance of freezing rain and snow today and tomorrow and Wednesday morning. Obviously, at this point, I have no idea if the library will be open tomorrow or Wednesday. I’m supposed to work Wednesday, this week. I missed the last Wednesday I was supposed to work, due to the cold I got.
The morning at church went fabulously! The orchestra sounded good, and the choir anthem was most beautiful, enhanced by the cello and violin that played along with us. Sunday morning at 8:15 was the first time we had gotten to practice with the strings.
C tried to go to work, this morning, but after sliding a bit, and seeing one accident in front of her, she turned around and came home. I don’t expect tomorrow to be any better.
The Super Bowl will be between the Eagles and the Chiefs. Couldn’t possibly be more boring for me. I probably won’t watch. I’m not one of those who will watch the SB just because it is on.
Update: At approximately 12:30 PM, it is sleeting outside. Not snowing, because this is Texas.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances. (Psalms 119:106 NRSV)
Lord God, we kneel before you and worship you, for you do mighty deeds in heaven and on earth and allow us to become your children and your servants. You have done great things for many people, enabling them to serve you, and you will do still more. For you have promised that all our paths will be made straight. You have promised that all we do may be a service to you through Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, whom we follow. He will be revealed to the whole world, so that the nations will be called to serve you and your will may be done on earth as in heaven. Praised be your name, Lord our God! We open our hearts to you. In death and in life we are yours. Amen.
Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: "To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." (Isaiah 45:22-23 NRSV)
Today I am grateful:
- a wonderful morning of worship, yesterday
- for the opportunity to, once again, serve God through music
- that the Lord mercifully hears the supplications of His people and grants us His peace
- that we, His children are clothed in Christ and His righteousness
- “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18)
"Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel's fountain!" (Psalms 68:26 NRSV)
Have regard for your covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence. (Psalms 74:20 NRSV)
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness. (Psalms 17:15 NRSV)
To the leader: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they commit abominable acts; there is no one who does good. (Psalms 53:1 NRSV)
“Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. And if the same person sins against you seven times a day, and turns back to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive.”
(Luke 17:3-4 NRSV)
A Psalm of Asaph. Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pain; their bodies are sound and sleek. They are not in trouble as others are; they are not plagued like other people. Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them like a garment. Their eyes swell out with fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. They set their mouths against heaven, and their tongues range over the earth. Therefore the people turn and praise them, and find no fault in them. And they say, "How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?" Such are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain I have kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and am punished every morning. If I had said, "I will talk on in this way," I would have been untrue to the circle of your children. But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end. (Psalms 73:1-17 NRSV)
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits— (Psalms 103:2 NRSV)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
"Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen." (The Prayer Appointed for the Week - The Divine Hours)
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
(Romans 13:11-14 NRSV)
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
(Isaiah 61:10 NRSV)
for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
(Galatians 3:26-27 NRSV)
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.
(Romans 8:18 NRSV)
This is encouragement at its finest. But I want to start before that. Earlier, up there, we have the admonition to forgive. Not just to forgive, but to forgive someone, even if they sin against us seven times in one day!
“Hold on, Jesus! You just don’t understand!”
We are admonished by Paul, because the day is getting closer. We are called upon, as children of God, of His kingdom, to live honorably, not in quarreling and jealousy. We are commanded to forgive. In Christ, we are covered in robe of righteousness; His righteousness! We are clothed with garments of salvation, and we are clothed in Christ.
We simply need to let that sink in a little bit, don’t we? If I am clothed in Christ, in His righteousness, how can I not forgive?? How can I stand to live in quarreling and jealousy? Yet, we find ourselves doing exactly that. It baffles me (I’m pointing fingers at myself, here, don’t worry).
But then, we are given Romans 8:18. We get so caught up in events around us; we get surrounded by political garbage, and it captures our attention. Never mind my opinions; in the big picture, my opinions mean nothing. But in the midst of this chaos, Paul tells us to remember that “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.”
Now I have heard it said, and believe it to be true, that Paul, and all of the other apostles who wrote Scripture, really believed that Jesus was coming back in a year or two.
Two thousand years later (I’m rounding), do we still believe it? Do we still believe that Jesus is coming back, or have we given up? Are we trying, once again, to save ourselves through human actions and interactions? Are we depending on humans (politicians??) to save us, to “save America?”
That’s impossible. There is no human being who can “save America.” I will remind you . . . there is no “America” in the Bible, nor will there be one in “heaven.” There will only be God’s Kingdom, and it will be occupied by all of us who are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
I need to get my robes straightened out, smoothed over, maybe even cleaned up a bit. Or maybe I have forgotten them, entirely. I hope not.
We pray, daily (some of us, at least), “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.” If we are properly wearing the robes of righteousness of Jesus Christ, that should not cause us any anxiety.
Father, I thank You for the encouragement that the blessings of future glory, yet to be revealed, far outweigh (even infinitely?) the sufferings and chaos that we experience in this life. Help us to remember this. Help us to remember that we are clothed in Christ and His righteousness, and help us to let that color everything we do, say, and think. Most of all, help us to be forgiving, just as You have forgiven us in Christ.
All glory to You, through the Son and by the Spirit.
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
(Hebrews 12:1-2 NRSV)
Grace and peace, friends.
2 thoughts on “Clothed in Righteousness”
Seems like a lot of people are depending on humans to save America these days. Trump is going to save America? Biden’s going to save America? Nope. I saw a meme once that said we need to stop following the elephant or the donkey and start following the lamb.
Haha! I like that! Thank you!
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