Key Word:- STRENGTH
Title:- Blue Collar Glory
“Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth;”
The smiling face of the Christian Orthodontist beamed out of the advertisement he had placed in the local press. All of his ‘family friendly’ services were neatly placed under a section of our verse for today: “…the crooked places shall be made straight.” Very droll.
Seinfeld has already pointed out the dangers of being ‘anti-dentite’ and certainly that is not what I want to appear, but maybe, that was an advert too far. “Maybe,” I say, smiling, remembering the grinding drill on my collapsing molars and the heavy low frequency throb from a torturous cold and burning bit that still haunts me in my dental nightmares. Imagine all that work without anaesthetic. No friends, I am certainly not anti-dentite and I am so thankful that they make the crooked places straight. In this way in particular, dentists are GOD-LIKE!
Jacob the man, is firmly rooted in the meaning of this Hebrew word that we have here translated in out text today as 'crooked.' The crooked Jacob of the Bible is in his pre-wrestling life, presented to us as a deceitful, sly and very slippery customer. Jacob was so crooked to the core that if had swallowed a nail he would have spit out a screw! Yet he wasn’t abandoned, no sir, rather he was chosen and it was God Himself who orchestrated Jacob’s graduation ceremony from 'Straight School' at the Jabbok crossing and then sent him away with a limping leg as an eternal reminder, that it was only when Jacob was without the power of his crookedness, that he could hang on for dear life and simply ask to be blessed by his dark night conqueror, the Eternal Wrestling Federation champion Himself, Jesus Christ the Lord! It could be said that after this hand to hand encounter with God Almighty, Jacob the twister, limped a little straighter on his way. (Genesis 32:22-32)
Nowadays, we have so sanitized Christianity that the thought of Jesus getting up off His throne and grappling with a few hairy sinners is most distasteful. Yes indeed, we can handle the clothing of God appearing as a cute and cooing little brown baby, but imaging Him as a sweaty old wrestler, well that’s a picture too far! Yet thank God, Jesus is a sweaty old wrestler. God has not changed and in making crooked places straight, Jesus is still in the business of crippling the central core of our personal power base, you know, that ‘old man’ driving force that powers us and sends us on our winding and slithering way. Yes indeed, it's quite a battle when God truly gets to grips with us. He knows it and so He always comes to His sanctifying work in us with His sleeves rolled up and His mighty arms ready for action. Yes He does! For, if you think that most of us will allow that breaking of our old man power base to happen without a fight, then may I suggest that you need to become an even greater student of the workings of God in men. Jesus is in the construction business you see.
The workings of God in men and families are very similar to the major road constructions we see around our lands. It’s mostly done at night, by ‘secret’ workers, lighting up the darkness with noisy machines, ripping up our settled way with jumping jack hammers which, will in the morning, inevitably cause gross inconvenience, traffic jams, and fill our nostrils with the pungent smells of hot tar and diesel fumes, which then aggravates even further the drumming fingers of our gross impatience, that sits below the large red and white signs in our spirit proclaiming: 'GOD AT WORK…BE PATIENT!' As we think about the baby Jesus this Christmas time, think on a little farther, think on a little deeper, for our Jesus is a wrestler and a road construction worker, a ripper up of crooked concrete, a re-setter of winding ways and broken thighs, a smoother if you will, of rough and ragged roads.
Jesus you see, is very blue collar and in the un-sanitized non-religious world, the real world that is, Jesus wears a construction helmet and wanders around picking fights with rascals, poking them in their ears and spitting in their eyes, touching hearts and shrinking their thighs. So this Christmas time dear friend, if everything is a mess on your road at the moment and you feel weak at the knees, take great heart and simply hang on to Jesus and ask for His blessing for I tell you friend, Glory is a coming this Christmas time and it’s blue collar Glory prepared in heaven for you!
Listen:- The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 40:5
Pray: - Lord, help me to take a new grip with my tired hands and stand firm on my shaky legs and mark out a straight smooth path for my feet so that those who follow me, though weak and lame, will not fall and hurt themselves but become strong in You! In Jesus name I pray. (from Hebrews 12:12-13 TLB)