An Advent Journey, 2013: Looking for the Light – Day Thirteen

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But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He made heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
He keeps every promise forever.
He gives justice to the oppressed
and food to the hungry.
The Lord frees the prisoners.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.
The Lord loves the godly.
The Lord protects the foreigners among us.
He cares for the orphans and widows,
but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever.
He will be your God, O Jerusalem, throughout the generations.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 145:5-10-NLT

So, Lord. About that “gives justice to the oppressed and food to the hungry” bit? 
Yeah, I’m struggling with that part.

Some days, the headlines point me straight to despair,
make me wonder where you are,
and question some of these grand and beautiful words in the psalms.
I want to shout at you,
poke at you and cry,
“Show yourself, mighty in power.
Step in! Intervene!”

I rant and I rave and I shake my fist in your general direction
(wherever that is), and I sigh a lot.

A lot.

And then, I remember.
I remember that you’re not about the ‘big move,’
the dramatic power play,
the thunder and lightning kind of thing.

You sent a baby, for heaven’s sake.
A baby.

And then that baby grew up and began to preach,
and hang out with the riff-raff,
and look out for the little guy.
And if we looked really carefully,
we could begin to see how it is that
you do this work of justice-giving,
and oppression-relieving,
and hunger-feeding.

You do it in small ways, surprising ways.
And you choose to do it through us —
us crazy, mixed-up, messed-up
human beings.

You invite us to take a look around,
to find the places where oppression
needs to be lifted,

and the hungry fed,
and then you encourage us
and you empower us,
if we are open and willing,
to live out the truth of this psalm in our world.

It’s a bit of a wacky scheme in my book,
and one I imagine I’ll question all my days.
And yet, I’ve seen it play out in remarkable ways,
not always, and not often enough (at least in my book),
but I’ve seen it.

And for what I’ve seen,
and what I’ve read,
I thank you.
And I am choosing to trust you,
to believe that are still at work in our world,
that you are still working through the likes of us,
even the likes of me,
to bring healing and hope to our world.

May it be so, Lord. May it be so.

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Comments

  1. May it be so for me too. I’ve been following and loving your advent journey, Diana –
    Thank you for each step – challenge and blessing.

  2. Gwen Acres says:

    “….a wacky scheme…..I’ll question all of my days.” Your honesty lets me know I am not alone in my thoughts and saber shaking. . Thank you!

    “And I am choosing to trust You…” Yes, in spite of the above I too want to believe and trust. I walk a strange path of doubt and faith. I also trust that God can figure me out though I can’t figure Him out!

    • Amen to that last line, Gwen. And you know what? I’m glad (though often frustrated!) that I can’t figure God out. God wouldn’t be God if I got it all, you know?

  3. I feel as if I just took a sip of life-giving water. Or maybe a deep breath. Thank you.

  4. You do it in small ways, surprising ways.
    And you choose to do it through us –

    And small ways can lead to bigger ways. It can lead to a lifetime of changes, one at a time.

    “Show yourself, mighty in power.
    Step in! Intervene!”

    That is a directive to us.. Do we feel the power to step in! Intervene? I wish I did more, but thank you for continuing to pont out this way God has of turning our questions of God back on us.

  5. Thank you, thank you, Diana! In lifting the lid on your concerns and bewilderment, coupled with godly insight, holy awe and wonder, you help us to be free in our own soul-searching this Advent season.

    It helps enormously to have these issues aired so lovingly and compellingly. They admit our inability to understand all and allow faith to stretch and grow strong within the confines of uncertainty.

    I feel heard and understood as I read your words because they shine a light for me too. I have really enjoyed your Advent journey and look forward to sharing more in the days ahead. Blessings 🙂 xx

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