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December 7, 2017 - Switch

Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Scripture Readings

The other day I was watching my two toddler boys playing with a new favorite toy.  It was clear that one was doing most of the playing, while the other was waiting and hoping to play with it.  On this particular occasion, rather than fighting, whining, or stealing, the other son simply said in toddler-ese, “switch please.”  His brother gave him the toy and took his turn waiting.

 When the prophecy in today’s reading from Isaiah comes true, will we be as mature about it?  Perhaps it is coming true in your life right now.  Isaiah warns that God turns the tables on us.  The Rich will become the Poor, and the Poor will be raised up.  This is true for simple economics, but it’s also true for our spiritual lives, our hearts, our minds, and our health.  My little children will one day be stronger than me.  My clear-thinking mind will likely cloud over as I age.  Our hearts go through seasons of elated love and depression. One day, our last dollar will be spent. Sometimes we can lead and minister, and sometimes it feels like the Spirit has left us.  Where are you at today?  Are you the exalted one that is now being humbled, or the humble one who is being raised up?  Or, are you somewhere in between, waiting for what God will do next?

Our psalm today provides wisdom for us as our status in life rises and falls: It’s better to trust in the Lord than in yourself or other people.  Isaiah repeats this basic truth as well: “A nation of firm [faithful] purpose you keep in peace; in peace, for its trust in you.”  We must make more than a statement of faith in God.  We must live for the Lord; our purpose is to do his will, as Jesus says in today’s gospel.  Doing the will of God is a measure of our faith in Christ.  We don’t earn divine protection with our works; conversely, our works are a sign that the Spirit is present and moving within us.  Whether our fortunes are going up or coming down, the Lord offers us a firm foundation of peace.

As we actively wait for the next “switch” God will bring into our lives, let’s ask ourselves, do I trust in God, or do I foolishly trust in myself, other people, or institutions? Does my trust show itself in my purposeful actions to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth?  Today, let’s have enough trust in God to work for the Kingdom. The Peace of Christ will be our reward.  Amen.

-Chris Nieport