Summer of 2018 has been miserable.
There have been no morning coffees on the deck, no pleasant afternoon walks, no evenings gazing up at the stars. At least, not since about June-something. The reason? It’s always either 100 degrees, or raining, or both. It’s the most awful summer I can remember.
And that’s just the weather.
Without going into detail about everything else, suffice it to say that I’ve been angry, sad, overwhelmed, worn down, and just so, so, so done. I’m done.
It’s been a long, dark summer.
And where there is darkness, we crave the Light.
Light dispels the darkness. Darkness is despair. Light brings hope.
Jesus is the Light.
When Christ comes, he destroys the darkness. He is Light. He is Hope. He is Love. Justice. Mercy. Life.
This morning, my usual routine of opening the bible to a random page, it fell on Isaiah chapter 40:
Every valley shall be lifted up,
every mountain and hill made low;
The rugged land shall be a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
You can read the whole passage here. Usually, when we read this passage, we think of John the Baptist, the “voice crying out in the wilderness.” We think of the Incarnation, of Jesus coming to earth 2,000 years ago. But isn’t it also a message for us today?
The Lord sees the darkness we are in, and he is coming to save us. He sees all the work that needs to be done. He sees the jagged mountains of pride, the deep valleys of deception, the rugged untamed wilderness of self-serving hearts.
We are a people living in darkness right now. It’s inescapable. But the Lord is coming, and with him, he brings the Light.
I’ve been getting a lot of comfort today in the words of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. We often tend to think of this as a Christmas carol, but really it’s not. Read it slowly.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode.
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.
Come, “O Wisdom” Come, “O Lord of Might”. Could you imagine a prayer we need more right now? We know that Jesus promised never to abandon us. We wait for him to come and reveal his Glory.