Sat, 10 March 2018
(2Chr.36:14-16,19-23; Ps.137:1-6; Eph.2:4-10; Jn.3:14-21)
“By the streams of Babylon we sat and wept.”
For “practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the Lord’s temple,” the people of God “were carried captive to Babylon.” For all their “infidelity” they were forced to watch as “their enemies burnt the house of God [and] tore down the walls of Jerusalem.” And so did their “tongue[s] cleave to [their] palate[s]” in a foreign land; so they “hung up [their] harps”; so their “right hand[s] [were] forgotten”… They could not sing the praises of the Lord; they could not strum to His glory – all the works of their hands were stilled. They could but weep in desolation.
So are we like them in our sins. So do our transgressions silence our tongues and make us lame and ineffective. So were we dead as these before Christ Jesus came to save us. And as the Israelites were called back to the city of peace and entreated to build the Lord’s house there once again, as they found their release from exile by the king of Persia speaking in the name of God… just as these could enter in once more to the “song of the Lord,” so we now find our freedom from the chains which bound us, and to the Lord’s temple come proclaiming His gracious salvation.
No more should we cry, brothers and sisters. No more should we sit idly as the streams of this world pass us mockingly by. No, now we must come resolutely to the Christ of God, for the word has gone forth to the ends of the earth that all who love Him should come into His light. “By grace [we] have been saved”; by the Lord’s immeasurable kindness we have been redeemed – in His love we must now sing our song. “For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance,” and so our work must now be accomplished in Him.
“Whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” And so “saved through faith” we must now bring before Him the offering of our lives. There is no longer cause to hide. There is no longer need to weep for our sin, to find the oppression of the world and the devil too much to bear. No, the gates of Jerusalem are opened once again, and the Lord God has “seated us with Him in the heavens in Christ Jesus.” Here in this light let us now find our home. Here in His presence let us begin to live the Lord’s eternal salvation. Our tears of weeping, with our condemnation, have passed.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "A Guitar" from Thoroughfare, seventh album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, let us leave behind our sinful past
and come into the light of your presence.
YHWH, we were dead in our sins till you sent your only Son to save us, to bring us life by the grace upon Him. Light has indeed come into the world, the light of Christ shining now in our midst. Let us come to that light that we might escape the darkness into which we’ve fallen and be raised up to be seated with Him.
Jesus has been lifted up for our sakes, that all who believe in Him might have eternal life with you, Father, in Heaven. Though our transgressions have been severe, you have mercy upon us still, and call us to faith in your only Son. Though we have failed to listen to the prophets you sent to speak in your Name, let us not fail to heed the One in whom your love has come to perfection, the One who shares your own place on high.
No more can you love us than by sending us Jesus, and so, no further opportunity will we have to repent and return to you. Let us live now in your truth and your light, that our works might be done in you.