When we were in Spain this fall, I watched as sweet little old women walked along the sidewalks each morning, pushing bag carts to pick up large crusty loaves of fresh baked bread. They bought… More
You and I have not seen Jesus in person. We have the great benefit of of the Spirit living and working in us until we see our Savior face to face. Today’s verse gives us a glimpse of when we will see Him riding in on that day when the devil will be completely stomped underfoot. The Titles Faithful and True connect to Christ’s judgement in righteousness. Jesus came as a baby boy in a manger, as Truth itself, because rightness matters. When life seems like evil is winning, we can lean on Faithful and True. Christ makes right our hearts and our lives in His death and resurrection. Evil and sorrow may last for the night, but just as the Bethlehem star appeared, Joy does come in the morning. It is promised to us in Christ Jesus. Be not dismayed, Faithfulness and Truth is at work!
It’s one thing for shepherds to shout good news of a Savior come in a manger or a riff-raff crowd of disciples to say that they have found the Messiah. It’s another thing for a man named Jesus to identify Himself as the Son of God. God knows that sometimes people need it spelled out plainly, sometimes they need a bullhorn proclamation, a moment to take notice. In His Grace, God the Father delivers the message of just Who Jesus is, Himself, for us to read in His Word. Jesus as Son of God means One capable of saving. Son of God means great Sacrifice made by a Father to save a family. Son of God means Redemption has come, wrapped in love, for each of us.
Jesus, with the Father and the Spirit, was there before the beginning of time and will be there when time as we know it closes and eternity becomes our absolute reality – forever in the best way we can’t even imagine! But Jesus Christ as Alpha and Omega reminds us that God isn’t just about eternity. He also values the middle. Alpha, is the beginning of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the end of the Greek alphabet, so it’s also a way of saying He is the A to Z. He is our A’s and our Z’s and every letter in between. Without Him, things lose their purpose, their meaning, because they lack the Writer of each word, each story. In Him, we see the letters of our days come together and Hope springs new!
This particular Name of the Messiah is couched in a prophetic passage from God through the prophet, Isaiah. And not only is He our Wonderful Counselor, but our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace. He comforts and guides us with His Spirit. He demonstrates His might when He emerges from the tomb, victorious over death. He was, and is, and is to come; He leads His people with an Everlasting love as a father leads his children. His counsel, might, and care bring peace to our hearts…and not the peace people like to talk about during this season. The Peace that He brings is the kind that will remain and even grow in difficult times; it saturates the heart with the assurance of His love in spite of the darkness of the world and our own sinful nature. It changes and covers and blesses.
The same Word spoken at Creation, the same Word spoken through prophets of old, this Word has come to dwell among us. He is God’s Word of love and mercy to a broken world. And not merely to the world, as we might send a text, email, or even letter, but the Word of love in our world. His name, whispered into our hearts broken by sin, brings grace and healing. When we speak His name aloud, we invite more grace into our day. Praise the Word of Life! Where can you speak of Him today?
In John 14:6, Jesus responds to the question of a man named Thomas, but really we all have been in that place, asking the same question – “How can we know the way?” How often in life do you wonder which way to turn, which way to walk, or even where to ask the questions? Every time we ask, Jesus willingly answers our questions in His Word. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is the Way means He is the Answer to every question, every road we need to walk, and every fork in that road. Jesus, today we ask You to Show us the Way. Show us Yourself, dear Savior.
Death stands in strong opposition to the Life that God created in the beginning. When sin came, death was not far behind as the consequence. However, Jesus is stronger than Death. He swallows it up and brings Life – life as new as a tiny Baby and eternal as God Himself – to a world held captive to sin and death. And at the end of time, we will witness with the whole world, the resurrection of all the dead at His second coming. We praise Him who is our Resurrection and Life!
The people of Israel complained a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. You can read the backstory of today’s passage from 1st Corinthians in Exodus 17:1-7. The beautiful part, though, is that God answers even complaints. That is part of Jesus Christ’s title, “The Rock.” He doesn’t change, whether we’re full of praise or full of grouching. He is solid, faithful, always giving free, Living Water to thirsty souls in need of love, compassion, and grace.
While this season of Advent and Christmas can seem to bring out the best in people, we know that what truly brings people together is the Peace sent from God. Not only has He paid the price for our sins, thereby allowing us to be reconciled to God, but He who is called Peace truly takes away the divisions among us. We are one body, and He is our Head. We are His people, together, and we worship Him…together! You are our Peace; draw us ever nearer to You, and to one another, that we may live closer to harmony together in You, serving and worshipping You always. Amen.
In this world, hope appears to have one major problem…the expectations attached to it. So often in this life, our expectations are met with devastation, disappointment, or disillusionment. We tend to apply the same level of confidence we would with people, in our relationship with God. We ask, seek, and expect so little from Him, for fear that our expectation will be met with disappointment. But Christ Jesus gives more. He, Himself, is our Hope, our confidence. He was prophesied from the beginning. He came as a baby boy. He died and rose to save you. What He says, He does, and what He does, He says in His Word. At the very sound of His name, we are filled with Hope.