No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made Him known.
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you?” Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet said. – John 1: 18-23
Once, a man was passing a ballpark. He heard such a commotion, he decided to stop and see what was happening. He noticed a young man passionately cheering on his baseball team, which was on the field and losing. The man asked which team was winning. The young man informed him that his team was behind. The game was in the first inning and the batting team had 13 runs while his team had not had an opportunity to score.
However, he spouted out enthusiastically, “You haven’t seen nothing yet! Wait until we go into bat.” What hope!
The gospel lesson tells us about John the Baptist who faced his greatest adversity. King Herod had imprisoned him. His ministry had been cut short. He faced death. He needed hope.
Like Christian brothers and sisters around the world, who are being martyred daily because of their confession in Christ, he needed hope. John had been sent to prepare the way for God’s Messiah. He reminded the people of the hope, which was to come into the world.
God had promised hope to the world, and John was the one appointed to prepare the way for the hope of the world. However, as he sat in prison, he needed some reassurance that God’s hope had come into the world.
John’s disciples had told him of the wonders that Jesus was doing. Consequently, he sent them to inquire whether Jesus was the one who was to come or whether they were to wait for someone else.
John, like us all, needed hope. Jesus sent him news of hope and comfort, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: ‘the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”
These were the signs for which John was to look. When those signs were evident in Israel, then God’s Messiah had come. This good news gave John the assurance that God’s promise to the world had been fulfilled.
Advent is the season of hope. Therefore, we wait expectantly for our Lord’s second advent. He promised that He will come again, and we await His return.
Let us cling to the hope we have in Jesus. Because of this hope, we can rejoice and be glad. Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ has promised that, during our waiting, He will be with us. He said, “I will be with you always, even to the very end of the age.”
I have the confidence that He will. I believe that God is a god of His word. He does not talk to hear himself.
Yes, this is the season of hope. Therefore, rejoice! The Lord your God is with you. Christ Jesus, in his birth, suffering, death, and resurrection brought hope to you, to me and to the world. Pray that through you, through me, others will also find hope in Christ. Amen.
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.