So often we expect God to wade in and solve our problems, waving the divine equivalent of a magic wand. And we can get jolly annoyed when that doesn’t happen. Or when things happen, but not as we planned.
Always, God invites us to get involved and to take the first step of faith. And when we do that, we usually find that in fact the entire path ahead of us is smoother than we feared, and many things fall into place, often with unexpected ease and timing.
I do wonder if a first step towards solving many of the world’s problems, and indeed many more local ones as well, might be in putting God’s principles into action. Without being in any way literalist, one could say that God did write the basic coding for humans and the world.
The prophet Isaiah sums it up well, when he speaks these words from God. Just before these words, the prophet has been slating the hypocritical actions and words of the religious and political elites. Instead of all that, this is what God really wants from us.
6 Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicatorshall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
It’s a grand vision, but “impossible!” we all say. Impractical. Insane! Or is it? And is it a grand vision, or is it just the simplest of actions. The problem is, simple so often seems impossible. Sometimes things are so ingrained that they feel unchangeable. We ask big questions, and we seek answers outside of ourselves. But I wonder if the answer to our deep longing for change and a better, fairer, more just world, is actually within ourselves, a tiny whisper from the Holy Spirit, if we could only listen.