What are you doing to give God the glory?
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:”Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.”
Again, it says,”Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.”
And again,”Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to Him, all you peoples.”
And again, Isaiah says,”The root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.–Romans 15:7-13.
In celebrating the second Sunday in Advent, the content of the above text is an excellent advice to each of us. The Apostle tells us:”with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
At the time of this Epistle, there was a rift between the Roman Jews and the Gentiles. The Jewish Christians thought they had a special claim on Christ. We Christians today think similarly. We think that we are better than those outside of the church.
The Apostle is showing here that Christ died for all and that the most important thing about the faith is that Christians get along with one another. Instead of fighting, we should glorify God in the way we react to one another, particularly in brotherly love.
Often we Christians spend more time fighting with one another than we spend pointing people to Christ and giving praise and thanks to God who redeemed us.
Paul tells us to rejoice, however, in the face of the many set backs some of you might have experienced, during the year, you probably would exclaim,”What is there to rejoice about?”
Notwithstanding this, there is much for which to rejoice. Scripture tells us, in I Thessalonians 5:16-18″Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
God has been merciful to you. He has brought you into His marvelous light through His Son, Jesus Christ. Just getting out of bed in the morning is sufficient for which to rejoice. When Christ consented to be a sacrifice and receive us, it was all to the Glory of God. Therefore, we give praise and glorify God by receiving one another in brotherly love.
Like the Jewish Christians of the early church, the Gentiles have a reason to give praise to God. We too are redeemed through the cleansing blood of Christ.
To prove the Gentiles’redemption through Christ, the Apostle quotes the Prophet Isaiah,”The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in Him.”
Christ is the one promised. He is the shoot of Jesse, the hope of the Gentiles. What are you doing to”Give God the Glory?”Are you sharing His praises with those who are far away and outside of the marvelous light of grace and mercy?
During Advent, look beyond your human limits to God and what he has done for you in Christ. All the resources of God come to you in Christ. Two of these, Paul explains, are joy and peace. No enemy can threaten your joy and peace. Christ delivered you from the gloom of this darkened world. Through him, you come to the light of God. Amen.
Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone: 323-4107; or e-mail: [email protected], Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.