This has been an amazing year for Cubs fans, as well as for fans of “that other team.” The Cubs haven’t been to the World Series in 71 years and haven’t won since 1908. The Indians haven’t won since 1948. Many of my friends who know that I am a Cubs fan have cheered me on, others have given me a bad time. Then came the news article. Once I saw it, I knew it had to happen just like it said. Jesus would come back in the ninth inning of the 7th game of the World Series keeping either team from winning. The Babylon Bee is never wrong!
As a student, I can tell you that I prayed often for the return of Christ back in college – especially during final exams. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t think that God was planning the return of Christ for my benefit during exams. Still, I thought it couldn’t hurt. Don’t we all have this inner longing for the return of Christ, or the day of the Lord as it is described elsewhere. We long for it because we know that this is when God will finally set all things right and we will come out of all of the chaos and confusion as shining examples of what it means to follow God. Amos reminds us that the day of the Lord might not be what we expect, and then gives us a reminder of how we should live while we’re waiting. “Woe to you who long for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord? That day will be darkness, not light…But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:18,24)
We look to the day of the Lord or the Return of Christ as a way of escaping the issues we deal with in this world. We look forward to that day because we believe that we are part of the good guys and things will come out right. We want to see the evil revealed and punished. C. S. Lewis described a land in his book “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” as being a land where all your dreams come true. The voyagers are eager to head to that land until one of the escapees from the land looks them sternly in the eyes and says, “ALL your dreams.” I fear that the day of the Lord will have similar issues. We expect God to get the other guy and reveal his sins showing why God’s punishment is just; we don’t think about the fact that our sins will also be revealed. We can’t escape the consequences of the day of the Lord. Amos described it as fleeing from a Lion and finding yourself face to face with a bear. The day of the Lord will have consequences that no one will escape. Until that day, we can do something to change things. Amos told us to work for justice in a verse that has echoed through the hallways of our nation for many years.
If the day of the Lord is a day when all things are brought to justice, we should prepare for that day by working for justice on this earth now. That means working to expose injustice. That means looking out for the poor and disenfranchised. Give them a voice, a chance, a hope. There are so many people today who don’t have hope. In America, we brag about our justice system giving equal treatment to all, but we know deep down that while the rich can “buy justice,” often those who are poor fall into the cracks of the system and never escape. We pride ourselves on the opportunity that’s available for everyone, and yet so many people start out with four strikes against them it seems impossible to get ahead. Our responsibility as the Church, the people of God is to work for justice for all; to let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.
Oh Lord, I do know that You are returning and I anticipate it eagerly. Remind me that judgment begins with the House of God. Remind me also that You have called me to work in Your kingdom in the meanwhile. Let me work for justice for all people; let my life reflect Your righteousness to others.