The King is comingPublished 11:01pm Friday, December 21, 2012
My psyche is traumatized every time I wake up. The onslaught of ugliness around me is destroying my willingness to participate in this maddening play presently being presented at the theater called life. I’m still mentally reeling from mass shootings last week contrasted by the hope of the Christmas season.
If I were given free tickets to this play, I wouldn’t attend. The worst part is that the tickets to the theater of life are very expensive, and purchasing them is compulsory with being born. We are born on a stage, as it were, into the play.
At the Christmas season, we often celebrate the first advent — the first coming, the birth of Jesus — with plays, skits and narrations. While I surely don’t want a thousand lives in this world, it really is a story worth telling a thousand times.
Imagine the story as if it were happening today. Imagine what it would be like if the King of Kings, the most powerful, beneficent and wonderful being imaginable, was born in a little tiny village in the Middle East.
Imagine that he grew up and when he was a man you heard that he had the power to raise the dead, to walk on water, to open blind eyes — and most miraculously of all, he could change the cold, confused, calloused, careless and coarse hearts of murderers in such a way as to create soft, pliable, lovable men who sought the good of others, rather than destruction.
Oh, I would get excited about that. I would buy tickets for me, my family and everyone I knew to go and meet that man. If it were a play, I’d buy tickets and gladly watch it a thousand times. I’d even ask if I could join the cast and be a part of the play. I’d sell everything I own and follow the play company as it traveled, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, and transforming broken people, making them whole.
That’s the Christmas story, and I need it now more than ever. Surrounded by pain, caught up in the never-ceasing stream of bad news, I need to know that one day the curtain call will sound and that a man born in Israel will come again.
This time, He won’t be a baby crying in a manger, with His authority and power veiled for the sake of love. He’ll be the full-grown King of Kings, His authority on display for the sake of justice.
The promise of his coming is that love is revealed. The promise of His return is that the final act of this play will be consumed by the holy anger of God for injustice.
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:11,15b,16 ESV)
Injustice and suffering, calamity and pain will not reign eternal. He who is eternal will. Take comfort, weary traveler. The King is coming.
Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at www.chrissurber.com.