Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the First Week of Advent: Year 1
“For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, wanted to again and again—but Satan blocked our way. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? Yes, you are our glory and joy!” (1st Thessalonians 2:18 to 20)
Full disclosure, I don’t always agree with Paul. But there are times like his conviction that nothing separates us from the love of God as articulated in Romans 8: 38 and 39; and his definition of love in his First Letter to the Corinthians (1st Corinthians 13:1 to 13) that I am fully on board with. And now this, about seeing the coming of our Lord Jesus in the face of believers.
There is a hymn that goes, “Have you seen Jesus my Lord, he’s here in plain view. Take a look, open your eyes, he’ll show life to you.” The implication, of course, is that we can see our Lord Jesus in the face of one another.
The further implication is that you and I are Jesus to others. We give others a chance to see Jesus today by the way we live among others. We do this by not returning evil for evil. We do this by not adding fuel to the fires of hate or jealousy. We do this by reaching out and hugging the “untouchables.”
When someone turns the other cheek when assaulted by racial or gender insults rather than engaging in a back and forth volley of hateful words they are showing their Jesus within them. Unfortunately, this kind of response is considered cowardly today rather than godly. It’s okay to be disappointed with bad behavior and not retaliate in kind. We must remember that we are being watched by others. Let us model for them a peaceful way of avoiding ugly behavior. In doing so, we too may become their glory and joy. They too may also become disgusted with bad behavior.
All believers have the opportunity to bring our Lord Jesus into full view today. Maybe the way Jesus responds to insults is not popular today, but responding in loving ways is eternal because love never dies. The way we prepare ourselves for life eternal is to practice being Jesus now, in this life. You should try this Jesus suit on, I think it fits you.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John