Sunday, November 30, 2008

Do Something

Isaiah 64:1-9
Advent 1

Have you ever just wanted God to do something? I know that our theological and spiritual upbringing cautioned us against making demands of God, so much so that we may never have said it out loud. But haven't you ever just wanted to yell, in the midst of a tragedy in life or a travesty of justice, "God, why don't/didn't you DO SOMETHING?"

It was that way for the prophet Isaiah. There was so much destruction, so much pain for his people that his heart cried out for some action from God, the kind of decisive action that God had taken in the paste. The prophet remembers when God's presence had shaken everything, causing both God's people and their enemies to tremble at the reality of Israel's God - the only God who answered prayers. But the nation's dissipation and destruction were now complete. They had transgressed and had fallen to such a low condition that even their righteous deeds were tainted, like filthy rags. Nevertheless, the site of their hope had not changed: "Yet, O Lord, You are our Father." Isaiah seems to remind himself of the covenant relationship that is between them and closes this passage by praying that God will not forget the Israel's is God's people.

In Advent, which begins today, we too anticipate the great shakeup that will come when the Lord returns. But the message the speaks to us from the prophet is that more than just anticipating what God will do, we need to remember the relationship with God. It is not what God does, but who God is in relationship to us that makes the difference. God is our God and we are God's people. While we are waiting, that will have to be enough.

Sing, "Have Thine Own Way"