Come and save us, we demand—as if that one time mighty deed in the past has generated some standard mode of operation that we can depend on. Now we think we’ve got His grace in our back pocket, to be pulled out in an emergency, surely, but also in a long-term stretch of arrogance. Oh, how sinful we’ve learned to be from birth and onward, expecting His Highness up there to swing his face over this way once more. Isn’t that how it works?
Perhaps a reminder is in order. Tell Him all about what He did—then He’ll wake up to what He’s supposed to be all about: us, that’s who, you and me and my friends and family. Didn’t he go to extreme lengths at one time, supporting and nurturing us through many generations? Tell Him, tell Him the story—use that vine metaphor again. That vineyard business is no fly-by-night farming and He really invested a bundle in us preferred branches. Now what? Don’t we have some rights? Don’t we have enough history with Him that we can expect it all to continue as before? Haven’t we sort of “arrived” and settled down into His good graces?
Here we are being whacked at, even, horror of horrors, used as kindling for His fire—first out there on the fringes, then right down the middle of the fields. How long it takes us. How long to realize that we are nothing without Him, never were, never will be. Sitting on the edge of the ditch, full of soot, at His mercy forever, in the same shape that He found us.
Help us, Lord, we sinners, who build ourselves up with your gifts, taking them on as our own, consuming them, showing them off to the deprived, then asking for even more. Prancing about amongst our neighbors, generous gifts have become staples of existence, extravagance has become a standard of living that we shouldn’t have to be without, hesed is just another commodity that we can stop off and get refills for.
We know better, Lord, we think, but we can’t even admit that. We’re obsessed with taking on your good grace. We’re junkies, hooked on our own selves. In short, we’re lost, because we think we’re not—even that we’re trying to find some angle around.
Perhaps a peek, Lord, just a peek over this way. Have mercy once more. Please, that’s all we need.