Daily Reading & Meditation

Monday (December 2): "Rejoice because your names are written in heaven"

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 4:2-6

2 In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. 3 And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, 4 when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.[a] 5 Then the Lord will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy. 6 There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 8:5-11

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Washing away their filth, commentary on Isaiah 4 by Jerome, 347-420 A.D.

    "When the daughters of Zion will have destroyed every adornment on account of pride, her gates will also be mourning and weeping, she herself will die alone, and so many of her soldiers will be killed in war that a number of women will hardly be able to find one man. At that time the branch that bears the Christian name will arise, and the earth will give its fruit, and there will be exultation for those from Israel who will be saved, concerning whom it was also said above: 'If the Lord of Hosts had not left us a seed, we would have become like Sodom and Gomorrah.'9 Observe also that not all of Israel will be saved, but only the remaining people in Zion and a remnant in Jerusalem, everyone who was written for life in Jerusalem, to whom the Lord said: 'Rejoice because your names are written in heaven.'10 This signifies the apostles and those who would believe through the apostles.
   "When the Lord will have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the blood of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning,' then the remnant from Jerusalem will be saved - when their sins will be forgiven in the baptism of the Savior, and they will be cleansed by the blood of him whom the people invoked: 'May his blood be upon us and upon our children.'11 Hence we read above: 'When you raise your hands, I will not hear you, for your hands are covered with blood.'12 And later he attempts to move them to repentance, saying, 'Wash, be clean.'13 Observe also that he will cleanse the filth of the daughters of Zion by a spirit of judgment, but the blood of Jerusalem by a spirit of burning, for what is light will be washed, but what is more heavily soiled will be scalded. John the Baptist spoke about this spirit of judgment and spirit of burning in the Gospel, when he said, 'I baptize you with water, but the one who comes after me will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.'14 From this we learn that man provides only water, but God provides the Holy Spirit by whom both the filth is cleansed and the sins are purged in blood." (COMMENTARY ON ISAIAH 2.4.2-4).

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use - please cite: copyright (c) 2019 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.

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