Scripture Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9
O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,
so that the mountains would quake at your presence—
as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
so that the nations might tremble at your presence!
When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect,
you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
From ages past no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who works for those who wait for him.
You meet those who gladly do right,
those who remember you in your ways.
But you were angry, and we sinned;
because you hid yourself we transgressed. –Isaiah 64:1-5
Six years ago, I returned home from a trip, walked into my living room/dining room, and thought something was amiss. A short time later, I realized the problem; all the pictures previously hanging on the walls had fallen to the floor. One had a broken glass. I heard on the news later that an earthquake struck a town some thirty miles east of me with enough force to do major damage at the center. Later I discovered my house suffered foundation damage requiring three piers to correct it. I paid out of pocket for the repairs and added earthquake coverage to my homeowner’s insurance. Since that time smaller earthquakes are regular occurrences as Oklahoma struggles to find the answers to the horizontal drilling and wastewater disposal connection to earthquakes.
While I certainly do not want a bigger earthquake, the smaller ones cause bits and pieces of damage barely noticeable and not at the level to be covered by insurance. I have four new cracks in my lathe and plaster living room walls. A new kitchen range slide between two counter pieces revealed one counter higher than the other. My fireplaced has pulled away from the wall every so slightly.
While our relationship with God can suffer a catastrophic disaster, we are more likely to experience bits and pieces of relational damage that accumulate and grow over time until we may not know God well at all. Isaiah seems to be identifying this sort of relationship destruction among the Israelites. We are more apt to lose our way in the complacency of stable times forgetting how we attained that status in the first place. We may too accuse God of hiding from us when it is we who do not feel the need to seek God until we are mired too deep in transgressions.
Prayer: God, forgive us for resting in our complacency while we gradually pull further and further away from you. Hold us close, help us to see our transgressions both large and small. Amen.