Though the fig tree does not budHabakkuk 3:17-19
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
We were watching The Crown the other day and this scene stuck with me!
Prince Philip is totally captivated by the upcoming moon landing. He begins to philosophize about his life up to that point. In the meanwhile, he visits the men’s group at St. George’s Center, a new endeavor for exploring faith and philosophy. The prince is rude, smug.
That is why you are all so lost. I believe that there is an imperative within man, all men to make a mark. Action is what defines us, action not suffering. And all this sitting around thinking, talking. Let me ask you this. Do you think those astronauts up there are catatonic like you lot? Of course not.Episode 307, Moondust, The Crown
Then Prince Philip meets the astronauts who landed on the moon, and was astonished and dismayed – they had no depth, no wonder. Combined with the death of his religious mother, he finds himself in a crisis of faith. The prince returns to St. George’s Center -here’s what he says …
Drip, doubt, disaffection, unease, discomfort – a jealous fascination with the achievements of the astronauts. My mother died recently. She saw something was amiss…a wonderful word, ‘amiss’, something is missing…faith. She saw it. ‘How’s your faith?’ she asked me. I’m here to admit to you that I’ve lost it. And without it, what is there? Loneliness, emptiness, anticlimax…going all the way to the moon to find nothing but haunting desolation. That is what faithlessness is, as opposed to finding wonder and exhilaration. The solution to our problems is not in science but bravery.
“The answer is in here…(taps his heart)…faith!’’ replies Dean Woods.
“Help me,” begs Philip.Episode 307, Moondust, The Crown
Help is available for Prince Philip, for you, for me! Habakkuk shows us the way. He expresses his amazing affirmation of faith. He testifies that no matter the hardship, suffering, loss, he will still praise God, rejoicing! How is that possible?
This is the story of Advent … in the darkness, the silence, the wilderness … our joy is made complete because we wait with confident expectation that our Lord will come, will complete the work He has begun, will bring His final redemption!
Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession,
giving us victory, enabling us to be conquerors!
Joyful joyful we adore theeHenry Van Dyke, 1907
God of glory Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee
Opening to the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
Drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
Fill us with the light of day
All thy works with joy surround thee
Earth and heaven reflect thy rays
Stars and angels sing around thee
Center of unbroken praise
Field and forest vale and mountain
Flowery meadow flashing sea
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in thee
Thou art giving and forgiving
Ever blessing ever blest
Well spring of the joy of living
Ocean depth of happy rest
Thou our father Christ our brother
All who live in love are thine
Teach us how to love each other
Lift us to the joy divine
As you pray today, thank Him for faith – it’s His gift to you! Thank Him for joy – His joy made complete in you. Ask Him to strengthen you, encourage you in your challenges – that you will experience victory! And as the hymn writer says, “teach us how to love each other!”