Saturday, December 22, 2012

Where is the Promise?

Scoffers say, "Where is the promise of Christ's coming?  For from the time our ancestors fell asleep all things remain thus from [the] beginning of [the] creation."
But let not this one thing be hidden from you, beloved, that one day with God [is] as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
God does not delay the promise, as some think of delay, but is longsuffering towards you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  -- II Peter 3: 4, 8-9 (Darby, modified)
So, no small surprise: the Mayans' calendar had no catastrophic power over the entire earth.  No magical properties, no special influence - just a human-designed marking of time for their time and their culture.  Humans continue to strive to make themselves - their projects, their work, their goals, their opinions - matter more than any, even God's.  We have survived yet another hyped-up phony apocalypse.

We stand on the brink of observing another year of the birth of the Christ Child.  Scoffers and cynics say, "You Christians do this ritualistic observance every year.  Where is the promise of Christ's coming again?  When are you going to stop with this annual charade?  Why do you bother?"  The shortest possible response is because God is longsuffering towards us; God wants us to get it right and to BE right.  Secular society, merchants, and economists continue the clarion call to pull us into a rank materialism where we buy everything that we do not really need on some quest to find meaning, togetherness, and happiness.  The lie showing itself after Christmas when the wrapping is torn off and all the bells and whistles silent from the planned obsolescence built into the goods that you will  again next year have to race to the mall to get all over again.  Is THIS annual ritual any more fulfilling than the real reason we observe Christmas, any more fulfilling than the Hope of Christ's return?  The difference between God's Promise and a mall's Christmas promise is huge. 

God's New Covenant sealed through the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ promises eternal salvation, eternal peace, and eternal rest.  It is so important to God that all people receive this gift that God chooses to tarry awhile in longsuffering with human arrogance and ignorance so all can be embraced.  Another Christmas is here.  We have another Christmas to celebrate all the people who have come to a new understanding of the peace and healing Christ means for their lives.  We have another Christmas to long for the fruition of the Promise delivered by God's Promised One, Jesus Christ.  We have another Christmas to hope in The Everlasting Hope, the Everlasting Promise of Emmanuel, God With Us.  Do not be suckered into the false hype of shallow materialism, phony apocalypses, or avoiding fear of anything.  Jesus Christ is born!  Do not be afraid.  Hope!

Promised One, we surrender our fears, our misconceptions, our ignorance to You and ask that this Christmas Your Hope will fill us with the assurance and courage needed to walk another year, if that is what it takes, until all can be brought to You.  In Christ's precious name.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment