Tuesday, Second Week in Advent

by Matthew B. Harper

Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is He?” (Matthew 22:41-42)

Whom do you say that Christ is? That seems like an easy question, but what do you secretly expect or long for in God?

There are so very many people who become Christians expecting an easy life. They suddenly expect their worldly troubles to disappear and for life to be easy. Unfortunately there are many preachers out there who are preaching a ‘health and wealth’ gospel that tells this lie.

Such a faith will not cut it in here. Men who become Christians and expect the court decision to suddenly go their way are often disappointed and fall away. They expect Christianity to be an easy life, and then must ask where is their faith when the parole board turns them down, or their children and spouse leave, or a family member dies? Where is God when our prayers go unanswered? Where was God when I committed my crimes?

It is the great gift that Jesus is the Messiah who has come to us, but following Christ does not make our lives easy or pain free. Emmanuel, Christ is with us, is a Christ who does not free us from hard times, but rather dwells with us in them. Where is God when it hurts and doesn’t make sense? God is right here. And in our longing and barrenness a faith is born that changes everything. In the midst of that need, great joy can be experienced and lived. It may not change the hardship of our lives, but God’s comfort brings hope. It brings peace, and it makes a path for us to return to God.

Who do you say Christ is? I say Christ is here.

Savior of the nations come! Virgin’s Son, make here your home. Marvel now, both heaven and earth, that the Lord choose such a birth. (Hymn 54)

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