An Advent Journey: When God Became Small – Day Six

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Micah 4:6-13, NRSV

In that day, says the Lord,
    I will assemble the lame
and gather those who have been driven away,
    and those whom I have afflicted.
The lame I will make the remnant,
    and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
    now and forevermore.

And you, O tower of the flock,
    hill of daughter Zion,
to you it shall come,
    the former dominion shall come,
    the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.

Now why do you cry aloud?
    Is there no king in you?
Has your counselor perished,
    that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor?
Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion,
    like a woman in labor;
for now you shall go forth from the city
    and camp in the open country;
    you shall go to Babylon.
There you shall be rescued,
    there the Lord will redeem you
    from the hands of your enemies.

Now many nations
    are assembled against you,
saying, “Let her be profaned,
    and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.”
But they do not know
    the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
    that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.
Arise and thresh,
    O daughter Zion,
for I will make your horn iron
    and your hoofs bronze;
you shall beat in pieces many peoples,
    and shall devote their gain to the Lord,
    their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

I gotta say, the pickin’s were slim for today’s scripture reading. It was either a repeat of yesterday’s psalm, the description of the fall of Babylon in Revelation 18 or this bit from Micah. 

And isn’t that just the way with the Word? I don’t like all of it, you know? But it’s there and it must be read and absorbed and dealt with. The truest line in this piece for me is the one I’ve highlighted.

Duh.

I most certainly DON’T know the thoughts of the Lord. There is no way I can grasp even a smidgen of them. Which is exactly why we have this book and why Jesus came — to help bridge the enormous gap that happens between the divine and the human. So, I’ll read this passage and I’ll say thank you for it, even though I don’t particularly l o v e it and I’ll hold onto that central truth.

I can’t know it all. But I CAN know Jesus and what Jesus shows me about God and the whole of creation. And what I learn there helps me deal with what I read in places like this one. 

Thank you for coming, Jesus. Thank you for showing us the good stuff along with the hard stuff. Thank you for inviting us into a new way of living and thinking — now, please help us to live well and think well.

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Comments

  1. We never know to whom passages like this speak comfort. Revelations 18 has always been my special scripture. It was reading this passage that convinced me to apply for conscientious objector status. “Come out from her, do not partake in her sins” spoke a clear and direct word to me.
    And for those who feel oppressed, the passage:
    There you shall be rescued,
    there the Lord will redeem you
    from the hands of your enemies.
    might be a great comfort. Sometimes the scripture is for others, and maybe indirectly to us.
    Newell

    • Thank you, Newell, for reminding me that the Spirit moves in mysterious ways, speaking differently to different persons, most especially from the Word.

  2. linda marie says:

    I have to keep reminding myself that the words in the Bible were initially for another time. The customs, laws and events were different, but we can still learn. I was very excited at the first part of this scripture:

    In that day, says the Lord,
    I will assemble the lame
    and gather those who have been driven away,
    and those whom I have afflicted.
    The lame I will make the remnant,
    and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
    and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion
    now and forevermore.

    I’ve been going to physical therapy for a foot injury… And I am beginning a “new ministry” outside the church because I seeming am being “driven away” at church because of my age.

    Like you, Diana, I don’t know all the thoughts of the Lord, but it certainly is wonderful when a new thought from God is dropped into my heart!

    • Oh, Linda. I feel this – on both counts. I’ve spent the last 18 months dealing with a foot injury, eventual surgery and now about 95% recovery, for which I am extremely grateful. And I, too, am ‘of a certain age. But I don’t find myself driven away because of it, and I am so sorry that you do. Blessings as you launch out in ministry on your own!

      • linda marie says:

        Thank you, Diana. I think it’s pretty human to have to strive to gain balance. Sometimes the church is so busy giving the “young people” a chance to lead, they forget that the older people still have a lot to share! It’s fine, though, in my case. I believe working with non-church women is going to be great!

  3. Nicely written Diana! The good stuff give us comfort the hard stuff build our character. Thank You Jesus!

  4. ” please help us to live well and think well.” This should be my daily prayer, especially the think well part. I love your honesty of expression. More of us should allow ourselves to say put loud we can’t know it all. You are a great example for us. Lead on Diana 🙂

    • You are way too kind – not necessarily leading here, friend. Just putting one foot in front of the other and putting my ‘butt in the chair’ to write for each day. Thanks for reading and commenting, Sandy!

  5. Donna Baker says:

    Thank you for this series Diana. It’s so fresh and honest and certainly hopeful. I appreciate the vision and discipline for writing shorter posts; and because you have done such a great job of it I can forward these to a young friend who is grieving the very recent loss of her dear mother. (Maybe you are not so very “fallow” my friend)

  6. You are welcome, Donna. I do these kinds of series primarily for myself and am grateful that anyone else reads and comments. Thanks so much for telling me about your friend, and for sending these words along to her. (And this kind writing helps me during fallow periods — it’s a different kind of discipline that keeps the writing muscles active. 🙂