I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and lo, there was no one at all, and all the birds of the air had fled. I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the Lord, before his fierce anger. For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. Because of this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above grow black; for I have spoken, I have purposed; I have not relented nor will I turn back (Jeremiah 4:23-28).If you have ever driven the skyway to or from Chicago you can picture a land laid waste and void. As you enter the skyway all of the grass, trees, and flowers along the side of the road disappear. The light changes. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day you pass through, the sky is darker. The air is thicker. The light is dimmed. There is an odor that seeps into your car. All you see is one factory on top of another. Each one releasing glowing smoke. Billows and billows of smoke are pouring into the air. Your heart seems to sink a little. You ask yourself how could we possibly do this to the earth.
Now picture God saying look what you have done. I don’t even have to bring the destruction of the earth. You have already accomplished the destruction for me. The earth and heaven mourn with me for the lack of human understanding. Where will it end? Will it end in the waste and void, the chaos of the beginning of creation?
God has purpose and a word for us that can change the outcome, so that the morning will end one day. But if we do not change God will not relent. This is a God who forcefully calls us to be and do better.
God we know that you have a purpose and you will not completely destroy your creation. Help us to turn back so that the light will shine again in heaven and the earth will sing your praise. Amen.