No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
The curse is found pretty far. It feels like farther than ever lately. I was born in 1970, so I don’t know what it must have been like to live through the news of the depression 1930s and then the war-torn 1940s or the civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s. I can remember some big events in the 1980s and 1990s – the space shuttle, Rodney King, OJ, the Gulf War.
So I’m not sure if it’s worse now or if perhaps I’m both older and more aware. I feel like I only started watching the news and paying attention a few years ago, so I’m behind the times.
Each day feels crushing: San Bernadino, Daniel Holzclaw, a panhandling ordinance, ISIS, crazy Presidential candidates, another shooting at Planned Parenthood, killing, racism, terrorism, extremists, overreactions, police brutality, injustice.
As a pastor I also hear the news that’s not on the news: an abortion, a failed marriage, another slide into addiction, pornography, depression, anxiety, fights, snubs, debt, waste, a miscarriage, a loss of faith. Saturday I attended a funeral for a woman who was perfectly healthy on Monday and died on Thursday.
It can be hard to have any hope. Santa doesn’t offer much. Oil prices are down so the economy can’t help. We have family traditions, but then we remember our families are screwed up. We can’t bank on much. How far is the curse? Where do we go from here?
I do believe in the curse, but I also believe there is hope in Christ.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love.
I’m not sure the ins and outs of his ruling the world with truth and grace. I might like a little more explanation at times, but I do trust him to do the job. He’s the only one who can. There is hope because God isn’t just up there – he came down here. He came down all the way, even into Mary’s womb, even to be born of her and out of her and into this very life of chaos, death, pain and suffering that we’re talking about – I’m sure things were even worse in the Roman Empire at that time.
I have hope there will be a great accounting and great justice of all things someday (he’ll make the nations prove), and that along with that holy righteousness there will be wonders of love and grace. He’s a gracious, loving, compassionate God and that’s something we need all the more and even more all the time and all the more.
Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing.
We sing of his first coming two thousand years ago, and we also look forward to his second coming whenever that will be. Let’s sing and prepare and receive the King. We need him.