Christmas Under Construction – Devotions for your Advent Season
December 3, 2017
Come, Lord Jesus!
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down! Isaiah 64:1
Driving home from the handwork retreat, we learned about Sutherland Springs. At first we were silent. We could hardly believe the news. But as the story unfolded we began to talk about the problem of guns in America. I knew I would have to preach another sermon the next Sunday—the second in a month—about a mass shooting to help folks express their grief and anguish.
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down! How many of us said words like these when we heard about Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, or Charleston? If God would come down, all of these troubles would go away. Scripture itself begins with a wind from God brooding over the dark and formless void, shaping beauty out of chaos. Isn’t this a good time for the Spirit to come and smooth out the chaos of our nation?
But God seldom intervenes in the dramatic ways we long for when chaos reigns. The next chapter of Isaiah gives God’s answer to this plea: I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask. . . . I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that did not call on my name. I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people. The image I have is of God brooding over us, like a builder studying blueprints, and wondering why, with such a perfect model as Jesus, we cannot follow the plan?
With Jesus as our blueprint, we have everything we need to construct a more hopeful future. Maybe what is lacking is not knowledge or materials, but the will to roll up our sleeves and put our hands to the work of turning our resources and energy from guns to healthcare, education, mental health, job creation, healthy families and communities, racial and religious reconciliation.
Come, Lord Jesus! Give us the will to join our hands with yours to build a more hopeful future!