Like yours, my heart has been broken this week over the world’s brokenness. You can’t open a newspaper, read a blog or check Facebook without some reference to this world’s current pain. We read of unspeakable violence done in the name of religion in the middle East. It is hard to imagine one human being treating another with such inhumanity. There is great upheaval in our own St Louis community. While we eagerly await the facts so we can sort out the details and know where blame lies, I am not sure the facts will help. This is more than an event. It speaks of a woundedness. Added in this week’s mix is the profound depression that led Robin Williams to take his own life. While never experiencing that level of desperation myself, I have spent countless conversations with others who have felt so broken because they could not glimpse hope.
Broken countries. Broken communities. Broken lives.
Somehow we seemed surprised by all this. I think that comes from the deep longing we all were born with to return to the paradise of our original parents. The imprint of the Garden of Eden we were created for still imprints our soul. Instead of longing and preparing for the restored Eden of Heaven, we try to create our own heaven here on earth. Instead of praying for God’s kingdom to come, we try to build and fix our own kingdoms. But no amount of education, medication or organization can create what God has in store for us. This world is broken. We were never meant to stay here. We are aliens passing through.
The early church experienced great brokenness in communities and in families and in their churches. The world then groaned under the weight of it all causing the early church to make their constant cry, “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!” I think I have said that many times this week. Come Lord Jesus. Christ is our only hope.
Since He has not come, I have asked myself how I am to respond and to live in all this. He reminds me of those in Ancient Israel who cried out to God in the midst of their brokenness and heard God say:
..if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.(2 Chronicles 7:14)
Do you consider yourself called by His name? Then pray.
Do you consider yourself called by His name? Then humble yourself.
Do you consider yourself called by His name? Fall on your face to seek His face.
Do you consider yourself called by His name? Stop doing what God is asking you to turn from and contribute a little less to the brokenness around you.
Do something. Do even one thing. Seek to understand. Listen more intently. Love more extravagantly. Support more practically. Meet one need of the broken hearted who are around you. And while you are at it, hug someone from another race and thank a first responder.
Maybe with prayer and practice we can see what Isaiah promised come true: Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. (Isaiah 58: 12)
Join us this weekend as we take time in our service to pray. Pray that we would be able to discern what God is calling us as His church to do in response to the brokenness of our world: To Change Lives and Transform communities in Jesus name.