Summary: We long to be liberated from our brokenness adn to experience redemption for ourselves and our relationships. We keep waiting for God to come and fix things.
“Questions About God: When Will God Come?”
In that great movie “Field of Dreams”, Ray Kinsella hears a mysterious voice prompting, “If you build it, he will come.” So Ray builds a ball field in the middle of his Iowa cornfield. Soon persons from the past – heroes who have become legends even though they were painfully flawed – come to play ball. Eventually the father Ray never really knew in life, returns to play catch with his unrecognized son. As Pastor Norman Stolpe reflected on the movie he wrote, “The film…rehearses the human longing for resolving rifts in relationships and for fulfilling the fantasies of fellowship between parent and child…Each one’s visit is as healing for that individual as it is for Ray.”
Like Ray Kinsella we, too, long to be liberated from our brokenness and to experience redemption for ourselves and our relationships. We long for that perfected world. We keep waiting for God to come. We wonder just when God will come. As Luke recorded the words of Jesus that we just read, he was giving us, first of all, A PERSPECTIVE OF HOPE: THE SON OF MAN IS COMING (25-27) “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” The brokenness of our world will end – because the Son of Man is coming. Jesus has not made His last visit to our world. He alone is the only hope.
And HOPE IS ESSENTIAL to the human soul and psyche. Without this hope, we lose the zest and purpose for living. Imagine the young couple, married for several years, unable to bear children. Having applied for adoption, they’ve waited anxiously for several more years for everything to come together. Now, on this day, they await a phone call which will inform them if today is the time. HOPE ENERGIZES their day.
Picture the young boy, barely 4 feet tall, dribbling, shaking and baking and finally jumping – straining to get as close to the rim as possible, all the while imagining he looks just like LeBron. HOPE KEEPS HIM WORKING AND DREAMING.
Hear the young girl, singing the scales over and over again, not always on pitch or with clear voice, but with great and even monotonous regularity. She’s just heard her favorite singer once again and she knows someday she’ll sing just like that. Her HOPE DISCIPLINES her.
Listen to the young husband and wife chat on the phone, late at night. He still has two or three more hours of work before he can come home. They know it’s the price to pay for starting their own business, but they hang on because they can taste the day when the business takes off and he can hire help and spend more time at home with his wife. HOPE KINDLES PERSEVERANCE.
Observe the young bride and groom, standing at the altar in front of family and friends, glassy eyed as they look at each other to repeat their vows. Hopes of love, glory, and success make this the greatest moment of their lives. Without that hope, they wouldn’t dare to enter into this relationship. HOPE INSPIRES COURAGE.
Yes – hope is essential. It focuses our energy like the magnifying glass focuses the sun to channel the heat and begin the fire. Hope drives us, burns deep down inside us. As someone said, “It is hope that gets us out of bed in the morning and shapes the contours of our day.”
GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DRIVEN BY HOPE. In Jeremiah’s time, Israel was under siege and again in trouble. So Jeremiah recalled a promise of God, originally given during an earlier crisis, to assure them God had not forgotten them. (33:15 GNT) “At that time I will choose as king a righteous descendant of David. That king will do what is right and just throughout the land. The people of Judah and of Jerusalem will be rescued and will live in safety. The city will be called ‘The LORD Our Salvation.’” God will come to rescue, save, and restore.
Yet Jerusalem tumbled. But Jesus came! The branch grew. Righteousness arrived in the flesh. Hopes again were raised. But our Luke passage occurs just as Jesus is about to undergo betrayal and death, something the people did not know. So He’s answering questions about the future. People wanted to know “When will God come in all His fullness to usher in His kingdom?” His answer? “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” When the whole creation is in an uproar, He will come. But then Jesus died. Their hopes were dashed, their thinking confused.