By Jessica Brodie, Advocate editor
We go to press on the December paper just before Thanksgiving and the start of Advent—a time when we’re supposed to be having thoughts of peace and gratitude, love and kindness.
Instead, on Facebook and in news headlines, we’re bombarded with stories of terrorist attacks in Paris and in Mali. Talk has turned to how we can stand strong against the threat of ISIS and whether or not we should let Syrian refugees into our nation. It’s hard sometimes to cultivate so-called Christmas cheer and the quiet peace of Advent when all around us is the clamor of negativity, worry and, sadly, hate.
For many, these days are a time of fear and anxiety, of persecution and anger, of souls struggling to retain humanity and rise above even while chaos surrounds them.
But isn’t that how it has always been?
Throughout history, especially during the days our Lord Jesus walked on this earth, there has been hardship, the kind that brings us to our knees. Can you imagine being a Jewish mother and having your firstborn son wrenched from your arms and killed? Can you imagine enduring slavery and persecution on a daily basis and having the strength and hope to go on?
Christ came so that we may have that hope—and new life with Him in heaven. He didn’t promise there would not be hardship. But in Him, we can have peace, knowing that in spite of the terrible times that can sometimes occur on this planet, whether death or destruction, whether terrorist attacks or hostage crises, at the end of it all the good that is God will always, always prevail.
During Advent, we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ, both His second coming and a remembrance of the time when He, as a tiny baby, came in the most unlikely of forms to save the world.
We need Him now more than ever.
So as we make decisions about whether or not to allow Syrian refugees into our homes and communities or boycott Starbuck’s or extend a loving hand of friendship to our Muslim neighbor, let’s remember the message of Christmas and all that our Savior represents.
He is a promise of love and hope, of salvation, of forgiveness.
Come, Lord Jesus. We need you. I need you.