“Thankful for Forgiveness?”
Isaiah 12:1-4 (NRSV)
Thanksgiving and Praise
12 You will say in that day:
I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
and you comforted me.
2 Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid,
for the Lord God is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day:
Give thanks to the Lord,
call on his name;
make known his deeds among the nations;
proclaim that his name is exalted.
Now here is a question for you, are you thankful for forgiveness? We often think about being grateful for the things we have and our relationships with family and friends. But are you thankful for forgiveness? Forgiveness is at the center of our faith. We are forgiven of our sins at baptism; when we reconcile with one another, we are practicing forgiveness. However, have you ever thought to be thankful for forgiveness?
We learn from the Discipleship Bible commentary the following about our text: “The first section of Isaiah concludes with a psalm of thanksgiving and a hymn of praise in two stanzas (vv. 1-3, 4-6, respectively). Each stanza begins with the formula You will say in that day expressed with the singular you in verse 1 and the plural in verse 4” (Discipleship Bible commentary, 948). We are looking at one stanza here. God’s anger turned to comfort in verse 1, what a blessing for the people of the time of Isaiah. You, too, would want to celebrate this change from anger to comfort, thus why the words following the first verse: I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
God's anger turned to comfort, what an incredible change. Imagine the range of emotions felt by the people of God. God turned to compassion and love instead of anger and turning away. So, let’s celebrate being thankful for forgiveness!
Peace, Pastor Harvey