Advent Meditation: December 8, 2022

Isaiah 7:1-9 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 Luke 22:1-13

“Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers.”

Psalm 37 encourages us to be patient with the fact the wicked benefit from their wickedness, in this life. The psalm encourages us to trust that in the next life God will bless the righteous, beyond what the wicked receive now.

Psalm 37 is useful for us today, when we tend to find so much wickedness in those around us. My life, each of our lives, endlessly presents opportunities to criticize others while coveting what they have. The psalmist presents the practical reason to not fret or envy wrongdoers: if we do, we are distracted from God, subject to temptations, thereby risking our righteousness: “Do not fret—it leads only to evil.”

From my modern, new testament perspective, Psalm 37 demands more. We should be cautious before labeling others as unrighteous. While I am confident that many with opinions and life choices that are not mine indeed do fall short, I should not be confident my views are shared in Heaven. Even more, if I may not fret over wickedness, what could be my response while being patient for that faraway reward? Christians are called upon also to pray for the wicked, even our enemies. And if we are successful in this prayerful response, we may meet many of those “wicked” in Heaven.

Dear God of forgiveness, give us the grace to be slow to find wickedness in others, and quick to pray for them when we do.

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