(Wondering what this is? For more information, see the introduction.)
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand 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
The protest chant “No justice; no peace!” is no mere slogan–it names the truth that peace is never possible without justice, or, in the psalmist’s words, righteousness. Without justice and righteousness, the absence of conflict is a shallow imitation of peace, bought at the price of somebody’s (or many people’s) dignity. Here, the psalmist imagines a peace that stems from love, faithfulness and righteousness, a peace that is so thoroughgoing that even the land participates in its bounty.
O Zion, give voice to good tidings,
ascend to the heights and sing!
Proclaim to a desolate people
the coming of their King.
The works of pride all perish,
like flowers they shall decay,
the power and pomp of nations
shall pass like a dream away,
This Advent devotional is intended to help you enter into the season of advent. We hope you enjoy it! Many thanks to the Rev. Paul Jennings for his help putting these reflections together.