Advent Reflections 1: Coming to Execute Justice

Isaiah 25:6 – 26:6

Much of this passage gives a cheering vision of the fate in store for the faithful, from “The Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food” (25.6) to “Open to gates that the righteous nation may enter” (26.2).

There is a catch however, and several English translations fit in a literal “but” in the middle of 25.10: “but the Moabites shall be trodden down.”

 The biblical vision of a God of peace and justice requires that the disorder of the world must be put right. Some of you will have seen the latest version of Murder on the Orient Express where it is said of Piorot that he cannot abide anything to be out of order: from his knife and fork to an unsolved murder. God is not quite like that, but as Luther remarked God’s natural work of love must be complimented by his strange work of wrath. 

As in this passage however, Christians need always to remember that it is God who comes to execute justice usually – the New Testament implies – in the person of Christ; God, and not us. We burn at the injustices around us and seek to put them right; God alone brings judgement. And for that in our frailty and fallibility we may be grateful.   

Author: Rev P Luscombe