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Psalm 98

Key Verses:

The Lord has made known his salvation;
    he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Reflection:

My favorite word in this passage is “remembered”. God remembered us, his people. Ultimately, he remembered to send his Son in the fullness of time “in the sight of the nations.” For God to remember us, he must see us. He sees us in all our stumbling efforts. He sees our sin, our self-righteousness, and he does something even more remarkable—he forgets. He forgets our transgressions through the blood of Christ. No wonder the bulk of this Psalm is singing!

In turn, Advent is a time for us to remember the birth of Christ—God with us. We remember the reality of his sacrificial death on the cross through the Lord’s Supper, and we remind ourselves of the future hope of his final Advent and reign through praise, awe, and singing. I love all of this about Advent.

I am a bit of an education junkie. I like to think and talk about education, and the heart of education is remembrance. That is how one generation passes on what they have learned from the last generation to the next. It keeps our children from being untethered in the universe. Remembrance anchors our knowledge to truth. Our children carry that anchor into a future we cannot even imagine.

My most beloved way of anchoring truth at Advent is to listen to a few sections of Handel’s Messiah each day. If you do it every Advent it becomes a tradition, and tradition is another word for remembrance. Messiah covers the entire scope of the gospel of Christ—from “Comfort Ye, My People” to “Worthy is the Lamb.” Right in the middle we have the birth of Christ: “Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”

Cindy Rollins

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for remembering us. We would be adrift and alone without you—lost. Thank you for showing us your salvation. Help us to spend this Advent reveling in these truths. Amen.

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1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
    for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
    have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
    he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
    to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
    the salvation of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
    break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
    with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
    make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
    the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
    let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes
    to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
    and the peoples with equity.

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