Ripped from the headlines today: “Archbishop’s $2 million mansion gone with the wind?“ A story on CNN.com goes on to explain that Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory has apologized to his parishioners after he approved the construction of a $2.2 million mansion to serve as the bishop’s residence for his diocese. The archbishop moved into the…
The incarnation of Jesus Christ still remains one of the universe’s great mysteries, perhaps second only to the Triune nature of God. How could God Himself fulfill all the prophecies concerning the messiah? How could He become flesh? And why would He choose to do that?
The grave is not the end of life nor is it the last time we will see our loved ones. Because God in Christ took on flesh and blood, died on the cross, and rose again we will have life eternal and our bodies will be glorified. No more cancer, no more Alzheimer’s, no more heart disease, no more pain — only glory. So let us celebrate this hope.
When hope is fulfilled, there is joy. When Simeon and Anna saw their hope fulfilled, what was their response? Simeon held Jesus in his arms (quite a contrast to the role Jesus plays as the Good Shepherd!) and praised God. “My eyes have seen your salvation,” he said. Anna also thanked God and then immediately went about the task of sharing the good news that the messiah had finally come to Israel.
One day in the future, someone will ask about us — what kind of a person we were, what our hobbies were, what our faith was like. What will they learn about you? What do you want them to know?
Are you living in the knowledge that the King will return any day? Are you doing your best to live in godliness and be found holy for that day? Or are you living with the mindset that Christ won’t return in your lifetime — that you’d better get the most out of this life before you die and go to heaven?
We often wonder why God allows suffering and evil in this world. Why someone like Saddam Hussein could kill 10,000 people without a second thought. Or how millions could die in Rwanda, Congo and Sudan because of pure hatred. We wonder why the rich keep stomping on the poor without penalty and why the righteous seem made to suffer. “Where is the justice, O Lord?” the prophet Habakkuk cried out (Hab. 1:2- 4). We rarely seem to recognize it, don’t we?
We are celebrating hope this week, and the very mention of a place name brought great hope for the people of Israel. Micah prophesied it and the people waited. But the prophecy came in 700 B.C. and the messiah 700 years later. A lot happens in 700 years and people forget. So when Jesus was born, the people had forgotten.