The Day of the Lord
“For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:2;
“Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light…” – Amos 5:18
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God” – Isaiah 61:1-2
“The Day of the Lord” is a simple idea that twists and turns throughout scripture. It typically is discussed in apocalyptic tones, seeming to coincide with the end of the world. “The Day of the Lord” (sometimes abbreviated as “The Day”) is when oppression is overcome by companionship; it is when the wounded become the healers; it is when the very notion of violence is befuddling, and generosity is commonplace.
Some prophets spoke of “The Day” with unimaginable images like that of a little child leading calf and lion, wolf and lamb.
Some of the prophets spoke of “The Day” with longing, looking forward to when the haughty would be brought low and the humbled would be exalted.
Other prophets spoke of “The Day” with trembling because they knew they lived among those who had forsaken grace in favor of domination. They knew judgment was coming.
In every case, “The Day of the Lord” was spoken of as a future state.
Jesus takes this idea and does something a little different. At the beginning of his ministry he stands up in the synagogue before all the religious leaders who knew the ancient scriptures and reads a “Day of the Lord” text found in Isaiah 61. As they listened with intent, Jesus makes a twist and then a turn.
First the twist, he omits the line, “the day of vengeance of our God.”
Next comes the turn. He sits down and says, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled.”
“The Day of the Lord” is not felt by fear but by hope, by freedom, and by grace. “The Day of the Lord” becomes not just a future state but an ever present reality.
Today, as the body of Christ, we proclaim, in word and deed, comfort to those who mourn; forgiveness to those bound by guilt; charity to those crushed by poverty; and grace to all.
Today is a “Day of the Lord.”