12.5 Advent Devotional
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence –
as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil –
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence.
I am frustrated, and I feel helpless these days. All I can manage to do when I watch the evening news is shake my head. I am confused, I am angry, and above all I am nervous.
There is a powder keg in our country that is about to explode, and I don’t know what it will look like when it is finished. I ache for friends who truly believe their lives matter less because of the color of their skin. I hurt for the people in my life that actually believe your worth is determined by race, class, or other factors beyond your control, and I am fuming because I don’t know how to confront them or make them see it differently.
I want the Lord to do something big –like tear open the heavens big. I need to tremble at the presence of God and know God is here.
Of course God is always here, but sometimes it’s helpful to have a big, shiny reminder. These words from the prophet Isaiah resonate with me because I can imagine the frustration of the people waiting endlessly for their messiah to come and deliver them.
This is a timely passage because we are reminded as Christmas draws near that God has done something big in Jesus Christ. By coming to earth as a helpless child, beginning human life just as we all do, God changed what “power” meant. God changed the meaning of “messiah” and “savior.” By giving humanity the baby Jesus (and giving the baby Jesus humanity) God has said no to violence, no to politics, and no to all the noise the world uses to drown out the voices of the oppressed. Jesus was not only the “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father” but “Wonderful Councilor” and perhaps most importantly the “Prince of Peace.”
So today I pray for the Prince of Peace to tear open the heavens, to make respect, love, and unity spread like flame kindles brushwood. Let your name and your will be known to us, Lord, so the nations might tremble and see you more clearly.