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Christians around the world began one of the most important seasons in the liturgical calendar this week: Advent. From the Latin word “coming,” Advent marks four weeks of anticipating and preparing for the coming of the savior of the world.
Of course, Christmas marks not the powerful and earth-shaking return of the savior at the eschaton. It is the quiet and seemingly inconsequential coming of a newborn baby in an impoverished manger, born of lowly Mary in the nowhere town of Bethlehem. Baby Jesus, meek and mild, we look upon this gentle child, as Charles Wesley put it long ago.
Savior - Prince - Peace - Way - Life
The infant savior was indeed meek and mild, the Prince of Peace, and many assume that he remained this way throughout his life. He did, to be sure, but he was not only this way as he grew. In his adult years, he also demonstrated a decidedly less gentle side that was just as much a part of Christ as his meekness and mildness. It is important that we know and appreciate this fullness of Jesus, his grace and his truth, his kindness and his severity, as we adequately prepare for his coming each year.
Was the Temple-Smashing a Fluke?
Christians - Someone - Jesus - Tables - Money
For most Christians, if you hear someone say, “Well, what about Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers?” you likely know the topic under discussion. It’s the stock response one gives to the assertion that Jesus was always kind, understanding, and patient.
Yes, there was that one time he got so angry that the temple had been turned into a swap meet run by unsavory merchants and money changers. He went off, fashioning a whip to clear the crowds and throwing the furniture around. Angry Jesus.
Jesus - Peace - Leaders - Day
We also know Jesus wasn’t all peace, love, and understanding with the hypocritical religious leaders of the day...
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To despair is to turn your back on God, you can never despair.