your advent alarms us.
wake us from drowsy worship,
from the sleep that neglects love,
and the sedative of misdirected frenzy.
awaken us now to your coming
and bend our angers into your peace. Amen
“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;
break forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
and your offspring will possess the nations
and will people the desolate cities.
4 “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
5 For your Maker is your husband,
the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
6 For the Lord has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
7 For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
8 In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
9 “This is like the days of Noah[a] to me:
as I swore that the waters of Noah
should no more go over the earth,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you,
and will not rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
When we are in the in between, the now and not yet, we encounter a sense of diminished returns. We since that all the work that we might put in to things that we care about will not provide the type of return that we feel we should get. At the same time we might feel that our past performance has predicted our future outcome. That those things and actions that turned my eyes away from God predicates an inability for me to live a whole life in Christ. That God cannot step in and provide a way for the person I am to be fully blessed. Hear Him say, “Compassion.” Allow that to push you toward compassion with those around you who are struggling in the in between, the now and not yet. They miss step just like you. They fracture relationship just like you. Compassion! That is the cry in the in between.