Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation . . . Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
Christmas is a time for happy meetings and warm greetings. Dear friends visit from long distances. Family members come to our homes to celebrate. What a joy it is to see them! Could you imagine receiving such welcome guests with a disinterested nod or a cold stare? Of course not! We receive such guests with enthusiastic handshakes; with heartfelt embraces; with joyful kisses!
In the psalm verses before us today, the writer describes an anticipated arrival, too. Only he is not describing the arrival of dear friends or family members visiting for the holidays, he is describing the arrival of something far more meaningful in our lives. The psalmist says love and faithfulness have arrived—gifts which moved our God to carry out his plan to save us with unwavering devotion. He says righteousness and peace have arrived—gifts which allow us to stand before our holy and perfect God as holy and perfect ourselves, the barrier of sin that once separated us from him removed.
And notice the beautiful picture language the psalmist uses to describe the arrival of these gifts. They do not come with a disinterested nod or a cold stare. They are so excited to be here, they meet with a kiss! And why wouldn’t they? These are not just gifts from God that will stick around for the Christmas season and then leave us. These are gifts from God through which he has granted us salvation, and they are here to stay! For this is really what we see in the manger of Bethlehem, isn’t it? As we look into the infant eyes of our God made flesh, we see his love and faithfulness. We see the righteousness that brought us peace. We see the one who came to save us from our sins so that we could live with him forever.
What welcome gifts! They are so glad to be here, and we are so glad they came!
Heavenly Father, fill my heart today and always with the joy of knowing you sent the gifts of joy and peace to me in the gift of your Son. Amen.