Day 23 of 40 Days to Celebrate the King: The God Who Comes
Today read Psalm 85 and Luke 21:25-36
Carlo Carretto was an Italian religious philosopher and writer in the last century who brought a voice to a Catholic group called the Little Brothers of the Gospel, after spending 10 years in a monastery in the Saharan desert. There he would pray 8 hours a day in an effort to get closer to God. His first book, written in 1967 was, appropriately enough, called Letters From the Desert, but perhaps one of his best was published from his writings, after his death in 1988. The book that came 10 years later was titled, The God Who Comes.
After 10 years in a monastery, and a lifetime of searching for God, Carretto’s conclusion was that God actually comes for us. All of scripture is the story of God coming after us, searching for us, pursuing us. From the story of God looking for Adam and Eve in the Garden to the promise of Jesus in Luke 21 that the Son of Man would come again, the Bible makes one thing clear, God comes for us.
Most of us can probably tell stories of the many times that God showed up, often out of nowhere, and in the nick of time, He would come to us and show Himself faithful to us in some miraculous way. I was in the 5th grade in a new school, trying desperately to make friends and fit in. It was PE class on a rainy December day in Indiana. We were playing kickball in the gymnasium and I was in right field where all the nerds and new kids go to die. I prayed, “God, let me make a great play so that I can make friends.” The biggest kid in the class kicked the ball a mile high into the rafters of the gym and the ball came down right into my arms. Somehow, I pulled it in like Odell Beckham. 3rd out of the last inning. We won. The fans went wild. And I made friends. Lucky catch? Or did God come to answer the prayer of a 10-year old that he would remember forever?
I was a senior in high school, trying to figure out what to do about college. I was praying in a kids’ classroom in a church in Goose Creek, SC, asking God what I was supposed to be when I grew up. I looked up from my prayer and there in front of me, written in crayon on a little kid’s handwriting was Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples in all nations, baptizing people in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” It was probably just a coincidence that I saw that verse just then. Or, perhaps it was the God who comes, taking an interest in a 17-year old kid to set the direction of his life.
- Luke says when He comes there will be signs. (verse 25) I imagine, if you look closely, you can see all kinds of signs in your life that God has been there, still is there, loving you, caring for you, giving you help you need.
- Luke says that He will come with power. (verse 27) When God comes He doesn’t mess around. Healing in the COVID unit, Christmas bonus on your pay stub, lost child coming back home, I promise you God will come and it will be awesome.
- And, he says it His coming may be frightening to some, but it will be our salvation. (verse 27) Look, I know this is a passage about the end of this age, but it is also about God coming to us when we need Him most and getting us out of that mess, or restoring our marriage, or turning our life around for good.
During these 40 days, I hope you are searching for God, seeking Him, trying to get closer to Him. But I also hope you know that He is coming to YOU. Doris and I used to sing an old song, (all of our songs are old.)
“The gulf that separated me from Christ my Lord,
It was so vast the crossing I could never ford.
From where I was to His domain, it seemed so far.
I cried, ‘Dear Lord, I cannot come to where You are!’
He came to me. He came to me. When I couldn’t come to where He was, He came to me.
That’s why He died on Calvary. When I couldn’t come to where He was, He came to me.
“Oh Lord God, whose chosen dwelling is the heart of the lowly, I thank You that You did come to us, first as a holy, tiny Baby Jesus. I ask You to make me humble so that I might know what You have hidden from the wise and revealed to babies, and that I might live each day expecting you to come. Amen” From The Book of Worship