Tuesday of Christmas I – Isaiah 61:10-62:3Do the opening words of this passage sound familiar? They were used for the OT reading on Advent III.

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
    my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
    to sprout up before all the nations.

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
    and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
    and her salvation as a burning torch.
The nations shall see your righteousness,
    and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
    that the mouth of the Lord will give.
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,
    and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

History has long cast of characters who really could not keep quiet about something or another. Supposedly Archimedes ran naked, yelling through the streets of ancient Syracuse, when he discovered how to measure volume while taking a bath. He was yelling Eureka! (I have found it!) Unlike Archimedes who got out of a hot bath to shout, Luther got into hot water when he could not be quiet about indulgences. At the same time, Bartolome de Las Casas could not keep quiet about the abuse of native populations in the New World. He also got into some hot water for that. Sometimes people just cannot be quiet. That is not always good. Sometimes we wish a politician or two could be quiet. I have learned that there are some folks in my life I never tell a true secret to. They just cannot keep quiet.

When God says he will not keep quiet, however, you must sit up and take notice. Remember this world came into being when God said, “Let there be…” When God speaks things happen just because he said it. Isaiah called upon his discouraged and disheartened people to believe that many years ago and he says the same to us. Our deliverance and a complete reversal of all that is wrong in this world is an utterance away. God speaks and it happens. Isaiah sees righteousness blazing forth, visible for all to see. God giving a new name, no longer Jerusalem the downtrodden but Jerusalem the golden and glorious. This will happen because God will not keep silent. He will speak and when he speaks it happens. As John says in his majestic opening words of his Gospel account, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jn. 1:14. Jesus is God’s declaration of our righteousness. This baby who shares our humanity is God himself. His declaration of our innocence resonates through all the cosmos. Every atom of the universe hears it and acknowledges that voice.

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