Dark Devotional: Hold Fast and Light Your Lamps

 

original art by Brian C. Jocks
original art by Brian C. Jocks

 

My Friends,

I’m tired of living.

I don’t mean this is a suicidal way. This is not a cry for help. I’m just truly tired of living in this world, in this country, that is right now so full of hate. I know I’m not alone and I know this isn’t unique to me. I know that so many of my brothers and sisters are feeling this way as well.

We long for a day in which God’s Kingdom will be established on this earth. Not in the mighty, slam-your-fist-on-the-table kind of so-called righteousness that we see on the news everyday. Not the one that pushes its laws and legislation through, despite the cries of the weak, despite the begging for mercy, despite the angry protests of those who defend their fellow Americans. 

My heart has been broken reading the comments supporting increased discrimination against peoples of the LGBTQ community. As if they shouldn’t even be a part of our community. As if they are somehow “less than” and should be cast out. Years ago this wouldn’t have bothered me, but I’ve gotten to know some wonderful people who identify as LGBTQ, and I could not imagine wanting to push them away — in any capacity.

One commenter said: “Do we really want these people in God’s army?” As if the United States military is somehow God’s army, establishing justice and dominion over the world. I guess we can add LGBTQ people to our growing list of those not welcome here, right along with the disabled, the elderly, and the immigrant.

Sad, indeed.

Today’s Old Testament reading comes from the Book of Daniel, a prophecy of a time to come when all thing will be brought under the True Kingship of Christ.

Thrones were set up …

A surging stream of fire

flowed out from where he sat;

The court was convened and the books were opened.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

that shall not be taken away,

his kingship shall not be destroyed.”

Why are so many trying to take Christ’s place on the Great Throne? Why are so many trying to bring their form of “justice” and “judgement” upon those on the earth? Why are so many trying to establish themselves as kings “most high over all the earth?” Does man not fear the coming judgement of our Lord?

“For in the same manner with which you judge, you will be judged.”

I don’t believe in much anymore. I struggle with earthly kingdoms and dominions and powers over me, both religious and political.  But one truth I do hold dear is that all these wrongs will one day be righted. That one day my heart won’t break for my friends. That one day all the pain, the fear, the misunderstanding will be erased and we will truly live as one.

At the Transfiguration of Christ, a voice from heaven declared “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased. Listen to Him.” When will we start listening to that still, small voice? The one that tells us to love one another? The one that tells us not to judge? The one that tells us to feed his sheep and to take care of the outcast and downtrodden?

This is the kind of world I long for. Then maybe I won’t be so tired of living. Can we just, each of us, keep doing our part to spread the light of our lamps in this dark world? Can we hold fast with one another and be attentive to the needs of our brothers and sisters, until such time when our True King returns?

 

PatmosJohn Robinson is a U.S. Army veteran. He’s an administrator of the Sick Pilgrim Community, a special education teacher, and a heavy metal and tattoo enthusiast.

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