Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Wednesday: December 13, 2017 –– 2nd Week in Advent
Isaiah 40: 25–31 / Psalm 103 / Matthew 11: 28–30

Except for people limited by an innocence of either age or mental capacity, I think it can be assumed that everyone is aware of some worry, threat, pain, or limitation that seems too big or unjust or hopeless. It is the nature of this world that things go wrong.

It is often wondered why, if God is all-powerful and all-loving, that he doesn’t “fix” everything and leave us all happy. Actually, God has promised to do just that––but not yet.

Why? I believe one reason is that God wants us to feel the effects of sin (disregard of his “Manufacturer’s Instructions”––a good way to understand his Commandments). The option of disregarding God is necessary for love. God wants us to love him, and love cannot be forced (or it’s not love). God could have made us as programmed robots, but there can be no relationship with a machine. Again, he wants us to love him as he loves us.

So God gives us the choice of disregarding and disobeying him. Yet, in love, he allows us to receive the repercussions of that disobedience. He allows us to hurt each other and to be hurt by a universe that was broken when we chose evil (disobedience). Why is disobedience evil? Because God is the epitome of goodness, and when we choose to turn from goodness the result is bad. Again, God lets us feel the bad in the hope that we will turn and run to him.

And this is what God wants (but remember, it’s our choice––the nature of love). Yet when we take the tiniest step toward God, we find that he has already taken incredible steps toward us. He comes to us. That is the message of Christmas. He takes our death and gives us his life. That is the message of the Cross and the Resurrection.

So every day, we have a choice. We can focus on hard circumstances and listen to the world’s (the devil’s) lie that mere nice circumstances will fix everything. We can think it’s up to us; that we humans can fix the world by ourselves (but we are too far too limited in perspective and ability). OR…. we can believe that God has promised to fix everything (in his time) and begin to live now as if God is truly real and here.

That is the invitation from Jesus in this Gospel. It’s not a promise to give an immediate fix to everything, but a promise that if we come to him he will be with us. The Psalm tells us how that can be: we can come to Jesus for rest because, even though he is God, he gives us forgiveness instead of judgment. And if we truly believe that, it changes how we live in this world. Instead of feeling beaten down, Isaiah says that God will lift us up even as we live in a hard world.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary,
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

Let’s ask for the grace to believe that today…. and every day.

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