In this reading of Isaiah I would say he (Isaiah) is finished waiting. In fact, the prophet is begging God to “tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake before you.” It’s like the Israelites are feeling a bit abandoned. They don’t feel the presence of God like they used to. I wonder what they were thinking? Maybe, something like, where is God?
I am pretty sure that if we were to be honest with each other we have all felt this way at some time or another, haven’t we? I know I have. Trust me there have been times when I myself wondered where God was. When I was in high school and my parents were going thru a divorce, I wondered where God was. When Maresha and I first went into the ministry we had to deal with a pastor who lied to us and about us, and it was at that time in my life I found myself asking the question, “God where are you?” Let’s be honest we are all human and we have all done it. I mean when your own personal battles and pleas for help seemingly go unanswered. You sometimes seem to find yourself crying out, “Where are you God? Do something!” Think about it even Jesus experienced the absence of God when he cried out from the cross, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” The absence of God is not something we ever want to experience but from time to time we do.
But look at what happens after they returned to Jerusalem. Yes, they experienced the absence of God but they didn’t give up. Instead they were filled with hope. This hope rested on their belief that God had formed them from the dust of the earth. God was their creator, and they were God’s people, they cried out for God to break open the heavens. Guess what – He does! And He does it in an amazing way.
Mark says it like this, “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’”
This is what Advent is all about. Yes, at times we may experience the absence of God in our lives because of all the struggles that we go through with this thing called life, but listen, we have the reassurance that God hasn’t forgotten about us, God loves us, God will never leave us or abandon us, and God will always be with us. Immanuel, God with us!
So my prayer this advent season would have to be God break through our busy, ordinary, and sometimes complacent lives. God help us to prepare room for you in our lives this Christmas. Help us not to get caught up in the busyness of the season and forget what it’s all about, because as your word says you haven’t forgotten, nor will you ever forget about us.