Second Friday of Advent
Reading: Grab your bible and read Habakkuk 3:2-6
How do you respond to Habakkuk’s vision of God? It is an awesome picture of power, judgment and glory, and it fits well within the message of this Old Testament prophet who was aware that a time of judgment was coming on his nation. In our world, it may feel a bit out of sync, though. It can be hard to put together these glorious visions of God with the image of God that Jesus revealed - but it is important to do this work. There is so much that can be said about this, but perhaps the most important is to recognize that Habakkuk’s vision of God is not a contradiction to the God we see in Christ.
Jesus made it clear to us that the heart of God is grace and love, and so even these powerful visions of God should be seen in this light. What can help us in this work is to recognize that whenever God expresses judgment against people in the Scriptures, it is because of human injustice.
What this means for us is that our relationship with God cannot be separated from the struggle for justice in the world. In some way we are called to connect our daily choice to follow Christ with God’s desire for a world of love and justice. This is why Jesus’ message of the Reign of God is so important. On our own we may not be able to make much difference, but as we contribute our time, talents and treasures toward the work of God’s Reign, our small contribution is added to the work of God’s people everywhere, and it does make a difference.
In what ways can you imagine the sight of God coming to judge injustice in our world? How does this fit with Jesus’ concern for the poor and marginalized? How does God’s desire for a world of justice impact your understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ? How can you contribute today, in some small way, to the work of God’s Reign?
Some of the visions we see of you in the Bible are really frightening, and I find myself uncertain of how these visions fit with the way you showed yourself in Jesus. But, I know that behind your acts of mercy and your acts of judgment are the same motivations - grace, love and the longing for justice in the world you created. Teach me how I can be part of your compassionate Reign in my daily life, and strengthen me to use what resources I have in service of you and others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.