Stop. Watch. Pay attention
This week’s sacred story comes from the prophet Habakkuk, specifically Habakkuk 1:1-7; 2:1-4; 3:[3b-6], 17-19. For the full story, read here. In addition to the scripture text, we experience the story of prophet through Godly Play. Watch it here (stop at 3:50 to leave a little mystery for future weeks).
Prophets, like Habakkuk, are often described as messengers. A prophet usually rises from among an anxious and waiting people. They often speak of an impending transition, a shift, a change – in thinking and in practice.
Sometimes, the word of a prophet can be considered as harsh, speaking critically to a people who have lost their way. But Jewish scholar, Abraham Heschel, reflected that it is not a world devoid of meaning that evokes the prophet’s consternation, but a world deaf to meaning. Again, it is not a world devoid of meaning that evokes the prophet’s consternation, but a world deaf to meaning. Stop. Watch. Pay attention. Something incredible is going to happen here.
In these days, it seems as though our world is longing for something to change.
We read, see, and hear
Violence, injustice, destruction
In our families, in our work, in our relationships
In tear gas, in discrimination, in the well-being of our climate
We long for a change, a transition something else, to peace, equality, and life.
Transitions are that time in between. The space between what was and what will be, between remembering, and grief, and lament…and hope…and fear.
I want to invite you to remember a time when you were in transition. If you feel you’re in transition now, think of another time in the past. Think of a time in between coming from something, and going to something else. Perhaps it was something beyond your control. Maybe it was a “come to Jesus” moment. Maybe it was a time where you didn’t know what would come next or weren’t sure.
Got a memory in mind?
Now, I want you to reflect on…in what ways was God with you in that transition?
In what ways was God pointing/leading you forward?
How does the recognition of God in your life then, help you to reflect on what God is doing in you now?
Tonight begins the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, the festival of lights, which remembers the time that the people only had enough oil in the temple lamps to last a single day, and they feared running out before the celebration was over. But the oil didn’t run out. There was enough to last.
The prophet Habakkuk remind us that when the promised new day seems to tarry, to take too damn long, we are reminded that it IS coming. And that we can release our worries for rejoicing, in a defiant hallelujah that refuses to be silenced. Rejoice: to echo joy again. Because we do not live in a world devoid of joy, but one that is often blind to it. In these days we are reminded that when the night seems darkest, there is always enough light for today.