A husband promises to love and to cherish his wife, but would he keep this promise if his wife was unfaithful? Not so with Christ, who, like Hosea, kept his promise, even to an adulterous Bride: he “loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
A friend, pastor of an evangelical church in Baclaran, ParaÃ±aque, Metro Manila, received a comment on his blog from a devotee of the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran. The comment has echoes of the evangelical mindset of big numbers and budgets as indicators of success and God’s blessing.
This is why we celebrate Christmas. This is why we have joy at Christmas. This is why we could say with David, â€œMy heart shall rejoice in your salvation!â€ This is why the angels in heaven rejoiced at the birth of Christ, because his birth was â€œgood news of great joy that will be for all the people.â€
Tens of thousands of people in the Metro Manila area and several provinces suffered in the onslaught of record rainfall from Storm Ketsana. God has encouraging words for them as well as those of us who were not affected much by the storm. Psalm 46 is one chapter that assures and quiets our souls, especially in times of great distress such as this.
When the focus of The Beatitudes becomes “you” instead of Christ and his kingdom, it merely becomes a moral lesson no different from all other religions that teach salvation by good works–helping the poor and those who grieve and are oppressed, being humble and honest, and promoting peace among people.
Numbers 11 and John 6 show us that Jesus as our Mediator is better than Moses the mediator between God and Israel. Unlike Moses, even in his darkest hour, Christ did not grumble against God about the rebellious people he was saving. Instead, he prayed for their salvation and for God to be with them.