I am old enough to remember a time when this phrase struck fear in the hearts of little children from coast to coast. I think it might be evidence of the brilliance of mothers, dishing out the consequence of waiting for your consequence. Dads were the “heavies” and would bring the figurative hammer down if need be. Sometimes, I think this is the image we carry around for God.
God often comes up as the heavy in our popular culture. Our language reflects that when we say, “Put the fear of God in them!” or “We need to have a come to Jesus meeting.” The God card is played when consequences are dished out. We are directed to see a Wait-‘til-your-Dad-gets-home God who sits in judgment, ready if not eager to pour out wrath on deserving, wayward children.
Our reading from Isaiah on Sunday could not contradict this image more. God is the one who addresses wayward children but in a very different manner. God is the Father who sees the suffering, the despair and the heartbreak of his children, and gives Isaiah this prophecy:
“And God will wipe away the tears from every face. He’ll remove every sign of disgrace from his people wherever they are. Yes! God says so! Also at that time, people will say, ‘Look at what’s happened! This is our God! We waited for him and he showed up and saved us!’” (Isaiah 25:8b-9, The Message)
‘Wait ‘til your Dad gets home,’ indeed. I can’t wait! Amen?!
See you Sunday…