Friday, December 14, 2012

How long, O Lord? Thy Kingdom Come

I have no words of wisdom for what we've all witnessed today. Several people have asked me what I feel and my response has been just what anyone's response would be. I'm angry, sad, pissed off, sickened, afraid, shocked, discouraged, broken, etc. It sucks. I don't have any answers and to be honest, I'm glad. I don't want to offer any answers for the horror that has occurred this morning in Connecticut. I don't have any desire to be heard for my opinions right now. I don't care to express my views on gun control and I don't what to share what I believe about prayer in school. I don't want to offer my opinions on the moral state of our country and I don't care to share my view on any political connections to what has happened.  Overall, I have no opinions to share other than I hurt with you. I stand with you in your anger and I walk with you in your confusion. Like you, I ask why, and expect no reply.

What I will say is that this tragedy has only strengthened my resolve that the Church is the only hope this culture has today. As I have said countless times, and many folks have let me know how sick they are of my rhetoric, our main responsibility as followers of Christ is to forward the Kingdom of God. I believe with everything that I am that the realization of God's Kingdom is the only solution to the evil of this world. The Kingdom covers over violence. It alleviates pain, sadness and isolation. It heals, comforts and brings peace in times of fear. The Kingdom of God feeds the poor, clothes the naked and shelters the homeless.  It comes along side those that suffer and it loves them unconditionally. It guides the lost and puts others needs before our own. It has no need for more money, nicer cars, bigger homes or the advancement of careers. It covers the evil that exists and permeates this world. It protects little children and shields young men from killing them.

For the most part, the Church in America has failed. We have failed culture and we have failed each other. We've failed, refused rather, to bring God's Kingdom to fruition. We've contorted ourselves to mimic the culture around us to the point that culture sees nothing relevant in the Body of Christ; the Church. We all want to blame someone or something when we witness shocking events such as today. That's a human instinct and I get that. But rather than looking for some entity or scapegoat for the evil that angers us, perhaps we should look within. Perhaps the blame rests more on what we have failed to do, rather than what someone else has done. Perhaps we should look in the mirror instead of outside the window.

How long, O Lord? Thy Kingdom come....     

Advent Reflections: Day 13 - 12/14/2012

"But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law,so that he could adopt us as his very own children.”
Galatians 4:4&5 


For only a moment, recall as a child how difficult it was to wait for Christmas. All the festivities, decorations and favorite TV shows were all well and good, but nothing compared to the big day! As the weeks passed and anticipation grew, you found it more and more difficult to contain your excitement!  By the time Christmas Eve had finally arrived, you could scarcely keep your attention focused on anything else! One thing filled your young mind and nothing else would satisfy the anticipatory exhilaration that wanted so much to be released! And that one thing was…the presents!  

Let’s face it. We do our best to teach children the true meaning of Christmas, and they listen. They might even be listening right now as we join together. They understand as best they can, but ultimately their minds are more consumed with tearing into those brightly wrapped packages placed neatly around the Christmas tree! But to their frustration, as with most things in life there’s always at least one rule. You can’t open presents until Christmas Day, or maybe Christmas Eve if you’re lucky! And if you have children, you know how difficult it can be to enforce this rule.

But why do we enforce this rule of waiting until Christmas? Why the zealous postponement of such a spectacular event? Because it’s just not the right time. The waiting and anticipation is part of the joy of Christmas, and so it is with love, that parents encourage their children and prepare them as they wait.  God’s children had to wait. Waiting was an aspect of life that the Hebrew people knew very well. Years of living in slavery, captivity and oppression kept them focused on the one day when God would finally send the gift of salvation to His chosen people. That day would soon come in the birth of Jesus Christ; the first Christmas Day. And as with our children, God’s children waited with great anticipation. The Bible makes a point to remind us that “when the right time came, God sent his Son”. It could not have come one second sooner, and would have been impossible to occur anytime later. God sent Jesus into the world at just the right time.  

As we conclude our time together, let us quiet our hearts in trusting patience in God. The right time will come.  Until then we wait, knowing that God’s plan of perfection is complete.    


Lord, it is so hard to wait. Sometimes it feels as if all we do is wait. But in the silence of this moment, remind us to trust in You, find our patience in You and rest in the truth that Your time is always the right time. Amen