First Sunday of Advent
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
In 1864, Congress passed a law allowing the motto, In God We Trust, to be placed on coins, with the two cent being the first to receive it. Gold and silver soon followed, but the motto did not appear on all coins. In 1956, In God We Trust, became our official motto and began to appear on paper currency as well as all coins. The same law required the insertion of Under God in the pledge following an informal insertion in 1954.
Sadly, both acts came as the result of wars (the Civil War and the Cold War) and represented an appeal to the emotional feelings people have about religion. It in no way means that our government—national, state, or local—appeals to God for direction. When considering the proper course of action, very few government officials ask, What Would Jesus Do?
What does it mean to trust in God?
The Word of God to Jeremiah: The day will come, says the Lord, when I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them. NLT God has promised good things to us from the days of Adam and Eve, even while we have refused to believe Him. God has always delivered on His promises, even if we have failed to understand either the promise or the delivery or both.
Verses 15-16 are actually repeats of 23:5-6. Anytime a prophet repeats something, pay attention. This is the most direct Messianic reference in Jeremiah, one of the most important in all of the Old Testament. The Messiah will be a king like David and a priest like Melchizedek and he will be called Righteous.
While Jeremiah gives us the Christmas promise, once the Messiah arrives, he gives us a new and a bit frightening promise. As his Apostles admired God’s Temple, Jesus promised that it would be destroyed. He described wars and famines, swords and death. The promise is dark, but Jesus does not leave it there. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. NIV But when these things begin to happen, look up, hold your heads high, for you will soon be free. Phillips
Paul gives the Thessalonians, and us, a reminder of the Promise of God to always support those who are faithful to him. Even in the bad times, God is with us.
With David we must always say, In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. NIV Only God can be trusted. Not our government, not our money, not our democracy, not our capitalism.
Be righteous and do good.