Advent – Preparing for the Coming King (Day 17)

I forgot to post yesterday (the text we read was John 3:1-21).  It was a busy day, I never got on the computer.  Today’s verse comes from the Psalms and it was one I needed to hear.

Day 17 – God has done Great Things for us – Psalm 118:19-29

19 Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter.

21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.

22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;

23 the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.

25 Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

From the house of the Lord we bless you. 

27 The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us.

With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

28 You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 

 

So often in the Psalms we see the poets giving praise to God even in the midst of bad times.  A psalm may start with the writer talking about how horrific life is before moving into praise without any indication the situation in life has changed.

It is easy to doubt God, to wonder why God does not do more to alleviate suffering in the world.  It is also easy to get angry at God for not doing more.  Perhaps, the doubt says, the growing and vocal minority are right, perhaps God is a delusion or a figment of the imagination.  Yet if that is so, life is ultimately devoid of any sort of meaning (or morality, beauty and heroism).  So I’ll admit it: on one hand I believe God to be real and the Christian story to be true.  But I also want it to be true.

I want there to be hope in the hopelessness.  

I want there to be light in the darkness.  

I want there to be meaning in the meaninglessness.

I stare at the darkness of a meaningless and godless world and reflect on what that means.

I look at the icons and images of a baby born in a manger with the promise of peace, justice, joy and love and reflect on what that means.

I recognize that God has done and will do great things.  And I praise God for those great things, even the ones that have not happened yet and even though we still live in a messed up world.

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