“Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, …”
Once there was a farm outside a town. The majestic oak tree that stood in the yard, throwing lace-like patterns across the house, had started life long ago near a path where the Chippewa traveled, their soft moccasins making no sound as they moved through the forested landscape, wildflowers and the seasons. The farmer stumbled behind a team of horses. The morning air was heavy with the smell of earth and animals, sweat and leather as their muscles strained against the plow and the dark earth rolled over. The farmer was close, very close to the land, close to his Bible. He remembered the words of Jacob, “Surely the Lord is in this place…”.
Now, in the planting and growing days of spring and summer, the farmland lies buried beneath white-hot asphalt. The oak tree is gone. Airplanes, thunderous with power, have replaced the sounds of cattle lowing and babies waking. The rhythm of the seasons has been replaced, day and night, by restless motion and tight schedules. Does the God of Jacob descend and ascend over neon and suburban sprawl, over cabs and hotels, airports and cities teeming with the trapped, lonely and indifferent masses?
The furious pace of change and its’ seemingly random, chaotic character is matched by our anxiety and unease. Where do we look for some assurance that the utter despoiling of the world is not our future? The cross and resurrection of Christ is where we look. There is no greater desolation than death. Yet God raised Jesus from the dead, thereby planting His promise in the midst of our despoiling and dying. When the Gospel opens our eyes to the amazing grace of Christ, we may awaken from our sleep upon pillows of concrete and steel and exclaim with praise and wonder, “Surely the Lord is in this place…”!
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”