Worship with Us This Sunday - 10:15 a.m.
One of my favorite songs from years ago is titled, The Way It Is. How about these lyrics –
Standing in line marking time–
Waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old ladies’ eyes
Just for fun he says “Get a job”
Reach way back to Isaiah 40 and you get the distinct feeling that all the prophet had described up to that point (Is. 1-39) was to change. Descriptions of desolate lands and exiled people gives way to a call of, “Comfort my people. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned.” Just because things had been a particular way for many years was not an indication that is the way it would always be.
A person could argue that any protest movement is asking the same question, “Is that the way it is supposed to be?” The Reformation could be viewed as a response to the question, “Is that the way it is supposed to be?” The Boston Tea Party could represent an answer to the question, “Is that the way it is supposed to be?” Each month when we take a group to partner with First Baptist Church, Bethany and serve those without homes illustrates a response to the question, “Is that the way it is supposed to be?” Every week a hot meal is prepared, boxes filled, and boxes carried serves as a response to the question, “Is that the way it is supposed to be?”
Advent is the Season where we should be looking around asking, “Is that the way it is supposed to be? Once we arrive at the answer, “No,” we surely move to act to change what it is that drew our attention to that which is not supposed to be. When we live on this side of the coming of Jesus, on this side of the life-death-resurrection of Jesus, we must surely know this is God’s answer to the question, “Is that the way it is supposed to be?” Maybe there is road work to be done to make way for the LORD.
Mark begins his Gospel not with a genealogy like Matthew and Luke. He does not start at the beginning of all things. Mark begins with, “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” The story he tells of Jesus is the story of how it is supposed to be. How we are to live, love, and die. How we are to give ourselves to the Way of God. It is how the story of Israel was supposed to go and will not be fulfilled in Jesus.
Peter writes a letter to Christians scattered around the Roman Empire longing for an end to their minority status. They hope for a day when the systems and structures that keep them down will be defeated. They look for a day when the promise of a fulfilled Kingdom will come. The wonder is God’s delay the way it is supposed to be. Peter lets them know the delay is for grace not judgment. Grace is the way it is supposed to be.
What do you see in the world today that prompts you to ask, “Is that the way it is supposed to be?” When do you step up to help someone experience the love of God in the midst of events that are not supposed to be that way? How would you live your response to the question, “Is that the way it is supposed to be?”
Hornsby’s last verse here includes the chorus. Pay careful attention to the last line of the chorus. In Jesus, maybe it is our conviction.
They say hey little boy you can’t go
Where the others go
‘Cause you don’t look like they do
Said hey old man how can you stand
To think that way
Did you really think about it
Before you made the rules
He said, Son
That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
But don’t you believe them