Today was the first effort to get back on a regular sleep schedule since I've been sick. As I am subbing for first grade tomorrow I thought I ought to at least make an effort today so that I'm not an exhausted zombie tomorrow with the 6-year-olds.
I woke up at 6:30 and immediately took my mini backpack with keys, phone/wallet, and kindle and I walked to a nearby coffee shop to read with a cup of delicious black coffee and the most amazing oatmeal raisin cookie.
I thought there were many great passages I read today, one that I texted to my friend, Sarah. Psalm 77:19 "Your path led through the sea, Your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen"
I mean, that's definitely a song lyric right there (literally because psalms are songs, but I mean, I want to write a song about that).
David's talking about Exodus and how God led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, through the parted Red Sea, and through the wilderness. God worked in very physical ways during that time: plagues, miracles, moving an ocean (nbd), raining food daily, etc. He moved in in-your-face tangible ways that a lot of people only dream of. But despite all that obvious stuff, for the Israelites there was still an element of faith: believe what you can't see! You can't see His literal hands, you can't feel Him standing beside you, you can't hear His audible voice, you can't see His footprints...it feels like you're waiting for the next thing to remind you that He is there.
But it's like a conversation I had with my friend, Alyssa, once. A conversation that has stuck with me. We talked about what it feels like to wait for God to move, to do something, to show us He's here, He's listening, He's for us...and we become like the Israelites because we forget that last Thursday He parted the Red Sea.
We ask for constant tangible reminders instead of choosing to remember the ways He's already shown up.
We ask to see footprints, even if we already know that He's leading.
The common theme in today's reading that stuck out to me though was how we need to stand up for what is right.
The passage in particular that caught me was Jeremiah 6:13-15."All are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wounds of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace."
How many times do I see pastors, fellow Christians...myself, look at someone sinning and say "Oh, don't worry, it's okay. I still love you." As though if I said "this is a problem" it would mean I don't love you.
Of course you love them, that's why you have to say something! It's not love to act as though they are not bleeding when they are. That is not peace.
We can't pretend like evil is not evil; we can't pretend perversion is not perversion; we can't pretend addiction is not addiction; we can't pretend there is peace when there is no peace.
Proclaiming peace is not proclaiming peace if you leave out the God of peace. The God of peace with all His holy, Sovereign, Creator ways.
Man, we can't leave it out! We can't leave out the truth! God is God, He's holy, He created us, He knows us, He knows what best for us. We don't define ourselves and we won't ultimately want to try to define ourselves. We can't leave it out because:
"For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in [Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation--if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel."
Sin is a problem, it is a bleeding hurting problem so much that Christ had to die: we would have if He didn't! We can say "Christ died for your sin so you are forgiven and loved," but we can't say "it's okay" because it is surely not. It has been paid for though. And at a precious, precious cost. So that you can live forever with Jesus, without blemish.
Hallelujah, there is your peace.