Above the Clouds

Post a Comment » Written on December 20th, 2014     
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Chris Logan

20110126_dreary_snowy_morningLast week I flew to Chicago on some business. The day started out early and pretty rough; plugged sinuses, no appetite, dizziness, dreary cold skies, and the distinct possibility of snow. By the time my ride showed up, I was ready to call it quits, stay home, and maybe find a way to stay in bed. Carrying my heavy suitcase through the airport wasn’t that much help to this either. I found my seat on the plane, stowed my guitar, and as the plane taxied, I tried very hard not to cough on my neighbors or succumb to the feeling of my stomach rolling one way as the plane rolled the other.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for our corner of the world. The CIA’s torture report. Ferguson. Ebola. Growing reports of Police brutality. The list goes on, it seems, for a while. It feels like an advent world.

Police violence …

Racism …

Aids, Ebola, and a myriad of other diseases …

Human trafficking …

The growing disparity between rich and poor …

Reports of our CIA torturing prisoners …

Carbon dioxide emmission videos …

Advertising slogans …

The blank expressions on peoples’ faces in traffic …

School bombings in Pakistan …

In an advent world, fear and death reign. We long for a way out, an escape. We long for a sense of security that seems to elude us over and over again. We long for salvation from the mess, from the drudgery, from the chaos. And so we turn to all sorts of things; food; sports; music; sex; gossip; shopping; achievement … anything to distract us from a sense of impending doom, of something dark lurking around the corner that we just can’t escape. In an advent world, hope seems but a fantasy, a pleasant fiction told to children. We’ve heard whispers that something’s coming, but it hasn’t, and so we find escape in whatever ways we can.

As I ruminated over this, my sinuses popping all the way through taxi and takeoff, my heart sank as my stomach lurched. But moments later, we got to 30,000 feet, and through the window I saw a beautiful sight: the sun glinting off the wing, and stretching of to the horizon, a Berber carpet of clouds blanketing the Midwest.

The sun was still there.

The view from 30,000 feet puts things in perspective.

above the cloudsSee, we don’t live in an advent world. Jesus has come. God is on the move, and has been for two millennia now. In some respect, this is exactly what the season of advent is for – to remember the mercy that God extended us on that quiet night so long ago. We tend to think of Good Friday or Easter as the defining moments in our history, and they are that, but they are not that alone. When everything was at its darkest, when the world longed and burned for justice, for mercy, for compassion, and as a result searched in all the wrong places, God’s plan – quietly, subtly, unorthodoxly – spun into motion. Angels delivered strange messages; a new star appeared in the sky; an old woman had her first son; a girl claimed pregnancy without a human father.

What God does in dark times is never what we expect. We want God to come and fix everything in an instant, and instead He took His time, and then took on our skin and our ways and our mess. And then redeemed it.

The Kingdom is still here.

Really.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still in its infancy. It’s like a plant that requires nurturing, careful pruning, good soil.

And time.

So every time you read a report on another police raid gone wrong, every time you get caught in traffic or wonder what on earth is going on in this world, take it as an opportunity to be reminded: God is here. God is working.

Hope is alive.

Chris Logan is the Director of Worship and Technology at First Covenant Church in Omaha, NE and an ECC Worship Artist who is currently open to Call.

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