One of the great theological questions that the great Church (and non-church) thinkers have pondered is ... "Is God active in the world?" David's cries to God asking, "where are you?" (Psalm 10) and "how long?" (Psalm 13). Prayers to God during the great wars asking, "God ... if you are the Prince of Peace, where is that peace?" Questions that flow from our situation right now as we see church shootings, racial unrest, crazy leaders with missiles and (not to be forgotten) our national government being far less than that expected for the greatest country in the world. "Lord ... are you still there?"
Thankfully, God gives us three words (all affirmed in Scripture) to deal with this troubling question. Those words are remember ... wait ... watch.
Remember ... something we find it hard to do but even our communion table shouts ... "Remember." When we are struggling, remember that God has been there in our past struggles. "O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home." The song and the call to remember are both asking another question. "Do we believe?" Do we believe when the times are hard and the light seems pretty dim? Do we think back on the mighty acts of God or do we sink into depression? What is God like? Is God a God who keeps His promises, upholds His people and leads us through those times when life is difficult? Remember!
Wait ... another hard thing. In the Christmas story we find it difficult to fathom that God's action was preceded by 400 years of silence. That is way more than the United States of America has existed. God sent prophets, exiled Israel, anointed kings and gave wise advice and the people failed to listen and follow. I wonder if God said what my father used to say ... "Am I going to have to come down there?" I guess the answer was yes. But prior to that great story in Luke 2, God said, "Wait!"
Though the next word scares me a bit, I am definitely an action person. Our Strategic Planning Team loves this word and we have been doers of the word (we hope). But when God says, "Watch" we had better listen and expect something big. "All right then, the Lord himself will give you the
sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a
son and will call him Immanuel (which means 'God is with us')"[Isaiah 7:14]. This is God saying, "Watch this!" When a group of guys say, "Watch this," watch out! But when God says, "Watch this" you had better lift your eyes!
God sent the prophets to say "Watch this!" Then, in the birth of Jesus God acted decisively. He came down here. He did what He said He would do. He gave lift, light and love in a small package. In a Lauren Daigle song we will do this Wednesday, she sings ... "Noel, Noel, Come and see what God has done!" Sunday and every chance you get this Christmas season, come and see what God is doing. For He is very active! Randy