Make It Stop!

We are currently reading the Book of Amos, and the only thing I can think of is, “Make it stop!” How many passages must we experience to understand the depth of God’s hurt? I know the Holy One is in pain, and the world must pay for their deliberate choices to turn away from the Creator. I get it, loud and clear. Let us move to the restoration of the people.

I grow uncomfortable hearing God’s mourning, but this is a big deal. The Almighty finally punished His unrepented creation. His wrath is complete and hurls destruction at His chosen people, His beloved Israel. I keep waiting for happiness to show up in writing, but it doesn’t. How long will the Holy One continue to weep and punish those who turned their backs on Him? Please make the heavenly laments cease. We need hope, and we need it now.

In my desperation to read passages that bring me comfort, I need to wrestle with the depths of Divine sadness. I plead for Him to return the people to Jerusalem, where we will praise Him while we have breath in our bodies. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel.” Return unto me the joy of my salvation. Turn my night into day.

We know what it is like to cry out in desperation. We don’t like to remain stuck in our stuff, and so we move heaven and earth to clear a path to the light. The promise of a new day brings hope in the middle of our sorrow. The grief that keeps us in the darkest of nights makes its claim on our hearts, and we are left with nothing; nothing but a hope that God will right the wrongs and send us forward with the promise of lux perpetua (perpetual light).

But now, like the prophet Amos, we must listen and hear the cries of God. At some point, this will pass, but we learned a valuable lesson in the middle of it all. Divine arms will reach out and gather us in. We will experience wholeness once more, but for now, we lie still, embracing sacred sorrow. He will come again; this, I know.

Published by joekmac

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Tradition. I am the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Belen in the New Mexico Annual Conference. I am married to Cazandra and have two sons with hemophilia.

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