Within the space of 2 years, I have navigated various financial challenges, had to move house twice, seen family members go through health battles and lost 3 friends. Adding to that, when I’ve looked outwards into the rest of the world, it’s been even bleaker. I’ve gradually had to take the news in bite size pieces, because most times I’ve tuned in, it’s been a steady stream of dark issues such as poverty, wars, terrorism, corruption, police brutality, murder, racial inequalities, etc.
Entering the Christmas and New Year season, it’s been a challenge to shake off what I’ve felt and seen, to reclaim the festivities I more easily enjoyed in my younger years. Each day, I find something in me crying out for a change to this picture. I long for better days. I long for a time when guns and knives find no more use and tears run down no more faces. I long for a time when suffering is obsolete and death is no more. I long for a time when all the truly good things about life are all that remain.
As someone who has experienced walking with Jesus and living for him, this time of the year is chance to reflect on the implications of his arrival on this earth over 2000 years ago. Recently, I was hit with a thought that helped me process this narrative more deeply. The birth of Jesus is often sanitised and his life glossed over by the culture (in the rare occasions they do acknowledge him). However, he arrived in some pretty bleak times. He was part of a people group that were under Roman occupation and oppression. Unjust laws governed their way of life. The slightest whiffs of opposition were dealt harsh blows (often resulting in death). Jesus himself paid that ultimate price, being sent to die on a cross. In the midst of these turbulent times, people cried out for justice, they fought for their rights, they strived for peace – not very different to what we see today.
They longed for salvation back then. We long for salvation today.
It’s just that, in God’s upside down way of doing things, he provided the answer that wasn’t expected…but is exactly what was needed.
Wrestling through these thoughts is what resulted in the following video:
Watch. Listen. Think. Repeat.
Until next time,