This week’s devotion reflects on the Psalm reading from this past Sunday, the Second Sunday after Epiphany. It is paired with the Gospel reading concerning the Wedding at Cana.
–By Elizabeth Ahlman
To The Choirmaster: With stringed Instruments. A Psalm. A Song.
67 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
2 that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
6 The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
7 God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!
The Epiphany season is the time during which we see how Jesus Christ reveals Himself as God to Jews and Gentiles alike. Each week during Epiphany, the Church proclaims that the one who was born to Mary as fully man is also fully God. The prayer of Epiphany is that Yahweh’s “way may be known on earth; [His] saving power among all nations.”
Sometimes, when we start seeing texts about “all the nations” knowing God, we get anxious and wring our hands over how we will accomplish this. But notice the words of the Psalm. It’s not the actions of God’s people which make Him known among the nations, but His gracious disposition to them. The first verse of the Psalm echoes the Aaronic benediction. God makes Himself known through His loving presence for His people. The Psalmist asks for God to be gracious and let His face shine upon His people so that His ways and His saving power will be known, and the people will praise Him!
In His Son, Jesus Christ, Yahweh has answered this prayer. Through His Son, Yahweh looks on us with graciousness and mercy and reveals Himself to us continuously. In Cana, at the wedding, He revealed His graciousness and love for humanity by turning water into wine. At the Jordan He blessed us by being baptized for our sakes, so that we too could be baptized children of God. At the Mount of Transfiguration, He made His face to shine upon His disciples, such that they would know that He was the image of the Most High. At Golgotha, He poured out His life so that Yahweh’s way and saving power would be known in Him and His death for fallen humanity.
And so John the Baptist believes. Jesus’ disciples believe. The servants at the wedding know His power. The Roman soldier confesses His Name. We become those on whom His face shines, who receive His gracious love, who know His ways and His saving power, and who praise Him. With every Divine Service, every Gospel proclamation, every Baptism, every Lord’s Supper, and every Absolution, Jesus makes Himself known as the Father’s Way and the Father’s Saving Power for all humanity.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus Christ, You have made known to us the God of heaven and earth and His saving mercy; grant that the proclamation of Your death and life would continue to make You known to all nations, so that all may be made those on whom Your gracious face shines. Amen.
- Read a previous devotion concerning the Gospel reading for this past Sunday, the Wedding at Cana.
- Learn more about Rev. Joseph and Deaconess Jennie Asher.