We are caught up in the perfunctory movements of our day and of our worship. We perform our Sunday prayers and tithe, but don’t hold charity in our hearts throughout the week. We speak to our neighbors, but do not love them. We understand the words explaining God’s love, but do not embrace the power His love gives us. We are good people. We do what we think God wants us to do. But, we do not know God. We live like Job. Like Job, our souls are at ease because we perform our rituals, and we live upon the surface of our emotions; we are contented with ourselves and our ever-growing dependency to technology diminishes our emotional connections to the world and to those who are closest to us. Job's worship, like ours, is a bargain of faith. He would offer sacrifice to God to guard against evil and misfortune and to safeguard his prosperity. We go to church and keep it moving. We feel lucky. Like Job we fear God; we respect the dogma of His church, but we don’t know God. It is in these times God puts Himself on our path as He did with Job in the form of a whirlwind.
In the past few years we have seen nature at its worst; climate change is upon us. But, in general, we understand what happens in nature after a long continuance of sunshine and calm. The environment needs a storm to agitate the stagnant waters and to fill the foaming waves with vital air for the good of the creatures of the sea. And so, a man who has a prosperous life and who settles down upon the protection of his nature and the comforts surrounding him, requires a storm of trial to purify the atmosphere of his soul, to rouse him from his selfishness, to brace up his energies, and to make him a blessing to others, and a truer man to himself.
This is why it is important we understand why God spoke to Job out of a whirlwind. Job’s suffering was a stripping away of his veneer, so he may better reveal himself to God, to better understand himself and his relationship to God. And, most importantly, to better understand God’s strength and love. When Job understands God is the center of the whirlwind, he begins to understand God’s power, and God’s power is greater than man’s.
We must understand we are living like Job. Are we headed toward a reckoning with God? Must we lose everything before we begin a sincere conversation with God? Must we stand in a whirlwind of God’s anger before our hearts can understand His love? Can we just listen to and hear the sounds around us? Let’s put our ears to the ground and feel the vibrations. Let’s look up to the skies and hear the sounds of trumpets. Let’s open our hearts to our neighbors and to those in need. Let’s start to understand the truest nature of ourselves and of God.
Advent is a call to be vigilant, constantly on the lookout for Christ to appear; maybe not in the clouds or in the thundering noise from the deep sea, but maybe from the caverns of those who dwell in poverty, or homeless refugees, in prisons or just maybe from vulnerable a child laying in a manger.