Create by: Hungsu Lim December 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm
[ADVENT DEVOTION] Day 4 “We Still Need Jesus”
“Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” (Matthew 2:17-18 NRSV)
I reluctantly walked into the gym, stepped onto the treadmill, put my headphones in my ears, and tried to start Monday off right. As I began to walk, I connected the headphones to the treadmill and selected one of the TV screens in front of me. Before I could even turn the sound up, my eyes were drawn to a breaking news banner on the bottom of the screen. It said that 126 were dead in a school shooting. I took a breath and wiped the sleep out of my eyes. I stopped the treadmill. The audio in my ears told me the beginning details of a brutal massacre in Pakistan.
At the same time a moving scroller on the bottom of the TV screen announced that a school system in Pennsylvania was shut down because an armed man was on the loose.
Almost simultaneously my phone vibrated with a message giving details about a memorial service for a beloved teacher in our community who had died after a valiant fight with cancer. She left behind her husband and two boys. We would hold the service in the gym of the school where she taught and where our church worships.
It was the week before Christmas, and that night I was planning to attend yet another festive holiday celebration. I was supposed to feel cheery, but I wanted to take my earphones out, close my eyes, and throw my phone across the room. Yet I know as well as you do that you can’t close your eyes and ears well enough to shut out the pain of this world.
It helps me to remember that the world Jesus entered was not unlike ours. In fact, the first Christmas took place in a time when innocent children were being killed. The first Christmas took place in a time when evil men did evil things. The first Christmas took place during a week when all in the community were crying together. The world needed Jesus then, and we still need Jesus now.
We usually skip over this verse in the Christmas story about children being killed and mothers weeping for their children, but it’s there. When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the magi, he was furious and gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and the vicinity who were two years old and under. It is a terrible scene in the Christmas story, but it is a part of the story nonetheless.
We can’t forget that Jesus came into a world in desperate need not only of a beautiful scene but also of a savior. Jesus was sent to reconcile broken hearts and broken people in a broken world. We don’t have to look far to be reminded that our world is broken. Thanks be to God that Jesus has come to us and will come again.
Today as we remember how Jesus was sent to us, let us consider to whom we are being sent as his messengers.
God, I am so grateful that you hear my weeping and grieving. Thank you for sending Jesus into the world to meet each one of us in our brokenness. I need him today. Amen.
(from “SENT: Devotion” Week 1 – Jesus Reconciles by Jacob Armstrong)
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