Read Habakkuk 3:13-19.
“Daddy, talk in the Rebekah voice.” That’s what our son Sam said to me the night after I delivered a children’s sermon on this text from Habakkuk. You see, I’m quite the ham when it comes to children’s sermons. I’ve been known to dress up like Biblical characters — all in the name of telling kids the Story. But, when I learned that this was the Scripture for the day, I was stumped. How in the world do you do a children’s sermon on Habakkuk? What do you do with that? Until I remembered he was a prophet from the South (of Judah), and I knew what I had to do: I dressed up in old prophet garb and used my most ridiculous southern accent to tell the kids all about how prophets were people sent from God to tell the truth. (Of course, all Sam remembered was that Daddy had spoken in a strange voice not his own and that the story was about someone named Rebekah. Or Habakkuk. Close enough.)
The Truth. That’s what prophets did: they spoke truth. God’s Truth to God’s people. Which, let’s be honest, isn’t always what we want to hear. Nor is it something we easily believe. Especially when, like in the days of Habakkuk, things are uncertain. Or when a situation seems devoid of any and all hope. Or when life’s circumstances — whatever those may be — suggest that trees indeed bear no fruit and fields yield no food.
Again, if we’re honest, we’ve all been there, and it cuts to the quick when we’re there this time of year. But remember, prophets speak truth, with Habakkuk being no different. And, as he said, drought, famine, death — theirs is not the final word. “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,” says the prophet. “I will exult in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights.” These are divine truths. These are lights in the darkness. These are words pointing to the Word made flesh, to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, to the One whom we so anxiously await this Advent season.
Pray: Lord, as we await your incarnation in the world, help us to rejoice, to exult, and to tread upon the highest heights even as we mourn, doubt, and struggle with life in the valleys. For you are the Truth. You are Word made flesh. You are Savior, Immanuel, God With Us. In Christ’s name, Amen.
James Goodlet, Bama UKirk