We thought about naming this entry “HOPE vs. H&#!”
Because hoping is really hard. Personally, I think it’s a dirty word. It masks itself as a lovely decoration, but it demands we engage, fight, stand firm, sacrifice, risk, and be willing to die. It’s being willing to be in the tension of a broken world, full of sin and disappointment, while we wait for glory. We believe it’s coming, but often our faith is not the balm we so desperately want it to be. We seek a balm elsewhere, just to get relief. I tend to turn to endless episodes of anything on Netflix, until I feel numb and disconnected from myself, God, and everyone else. This is followed by greater disappointment, because I long for connection, and I’ve made it harder by my own choices.
That’s how addiction works: we feel the unbearable tension of current reality and what we long for, and we do whatever it takes for us to break the tension (tv, facebook, Candy Crush, video games, drinking, porn, eating, not-eating, over-exercising, cleaning, shopping, etc.). We’re pretty much always successful, so we’re likely to do it over and over again. And, we end up sitting in the same tension–we can’t kill the tension.
Let me offer a far grittier and harder solution. Let’s sit in the tension together, and give it a voice. Let’s cry out to the Lord together, begging him to act. Let’s not try to work out our faith alone. Let me offer you my faith in the One who is Faithful, because I can have great faith on your behalf. But, honestly, I need your faith for me. As a result of the fall, of sin, we have come to believe that we can gut it out alone, and that trusting is foolishness. We know that’s not true, so we must push back against the darkness for ourselves, and for one another. I don’t know if we will feel better, but we will be acting in integrity, with honesty, and in hope.
It’s Advent Season, and our city is crying out for peace, reconciliation, and redemption. We are smack dab in the middle of that tension. Let’s not try to escape it. Let’s admit we are helpless. We need one another. Even more, we need Jesus. We need him to act, to comfort, to lead, to refocus us. We need him to hear us. We need to pray together–we need to hope together.
Advent is all about waiting for the promised Savior to come and intervene, and ultimately break the tension forever. The book of Habakkuk is also about waiting and longing for the coming Savior. Please join me on Sunday mornings through Advent from 9:15 – 10:00 for prayer through the book of Habakkuk. It will mean taking a step of faith to come. Showing up will be pushing back against the darkness. It will mean the sacrifice of sleep and warm beds, perhaps leisurely breakfasts.
Your tendency on Sunday morning will be to not come. I have that tendency every Sunday. Choose now to join us (Please hear this as an invitation, which means you can choose to turn it down without me thinking less of you). I’ll make coffee.
Sundays of Advent 2014 are 30 November, and 7, 14, 21 December