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  • Wayne Chasney

Do We Really Want to Tear Open the Heavens?

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down…(Isaiah 64:1)

Are you sure about this, Isaiah? I mean, I get that you are a revered prophet, possibly the most revered prophet of ancient Israel, but are you sure you want God to “tear open the heavens and come down”?

Let’s think about this for a hot minute. Tearing open the heavens sounds so violent. If the heavens are torn open, then what’s to keep the heavens separate from terra firma? As I recall from the story of creation, it was with a word that God pushed back the waters of chaos and locked them away in the dome above the earth. What if those waters come rushing back down again? Isn’t that what happened to Noah? I don’t think anyone wants that again.

And then there’s that “coming down” part. I remember when I was a kid and my brother and I were rough housing in the living room, and dad would yell down the stairs, “Knock it off! You don’t want me to come down there!” No, we did not! When dad had to come down, that meant trouble. Perhaps it’s best if God stays “up there” and the heavens remain intact.

No, Isaiah, I’m just not sure about asking God to tear open the heavens and come down is what’s needed. You know what might be better? What if God came in a way that’s a little gentler, a little quieter?

How about this instead? Let’s start with baby steps. Rather than tearing open the heavens, how about a light that starts to shine in a silent night. That light can grow slowly over time, maybe start to spread once the time is right. At some point that little light could spark a light in others and perhaps it will even spread throughout the world.

Surely that sounds better, doesn’t it Isaiah? Think of it as just opening the heavens a crack and planting a seed to grow over time. Less dramatic, yes, but surely God’s beloved children will recognize God with them at some point and come around. Then, the heavens won’t need to be torn because the world will reflect all that heaven holds.

What do you say, Isaiah? Should we give my way a shot first?

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