As we approach the end of the calendar year, television news commentators and political pundits tally up the crises in the world to see what kind of progress we are making on difficult issues. I find myself wanting to turn the television off; I don’t want to listen to predictions of gloom!
Jesus understood how tempting it is to avoid the difficult realization that things are hard and may get harder before a crisis is resolved. That’s why he spoke to his disciples about the dangers of running after false messiahs when their world was crumbling. He was probably talking about the chaos that would engulf his people when the Temple was destroyed. But he could as easily have been speaking about the headlines of today and the anxiety they often engender.
Jesus told his worried followers to avoid seeking quick fixes for a world in trouble. Suffering would come their way but, and it’s a big but, it would not overcome them. Beyond all the world’s turmoil, beyond even its end, Jesus’ words of love and forgiveness, healing and hope would shape what is to come. Some days that’s the best news we can hear.
Who in your world needs to hear that good news of Advent?
Eternal God, strengthen us to live with courage and hope, faith and conviction. Amen. — CST