The Coming of Christ Gives Hope
Please Read Isaiah 40: 1-11
The more things change, the more they stay the same. A statement made often in the book of Ecclesiastes, "There is nothing new under the sun.” We are living in a time of social upheaval, some of it caused by natural disasters, some caused by human beings in high places. There remains uncertainty about national healthcare. Will we actually go to war with North Korea? Hurricanes have caused devastation in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Florida, and Texas. Portions of California have been burned to the ground by wildfires.
Millions of people have lost homes, businesses, jobs, family members; they have literally lost everything that made their lives meaningful. Rebuilding is happening, but the Christmas season will be difficult for most of them. Who will give them hope? Who will give them encouragement?
The same emotions were experienced by Jews living under Roman rule. The Jews experienced uncertainty, injustice, high taxes, terror, frustration, discrimination, all facets of sinful oppression. No Jewish human being could be depended upon to help the Jewish nation get free from Roman oppression. Jewish leaders believed that the time was right to expect the coming of the Christ. They didn't know how, they didn't know exactly when, but they believed that their God would deliver them because the oppression was so evil. Jewish leaders hoped that God would send the Christ and deliver the Jews from the Romans like God had sent Moses to deliver their ancestors from slavery in Egypt. They spread their hope to the Jewish masses who joined them in hopeful expectation. Jesus Christ was born!
Christ has come, died, risen again, and ascended into heaven. However, the Holy Spirit is here now and we still hope and anticipate, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, that God will show once again how much God loves us. God will show once again that Jesus didn't die in vain. We hope and expect that God will deliver those of us who are suffering at this time in the history of the human race. As we look forward to the celebration of his birth, let us not grow weary of looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He died so that we would be delivered from our sins and manifestations of sin in an evil world. Dr. Robert Schuller is known for a saying, "Tough times never last. Tough people do.” Let us hang tough in our faith in God. God will make things better. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Just make sure that your soul is anchored in Jesus.
Rev. Dr. Eric Brown
Woodland Christian Church, Columbus
Commission on Ministry, Anti-Racism / Pro-Reconciliation Commission, Regional Investigative Task Force