So my kids love to hear things the way they want to hear them. Well, maybe they don’t love to, but I think their brains have a hard time taking things any other way. Yesterday, for example, I told them that if we had time we would go to the toy store and get one of them a gift for their birthday. I said if we can we will go. I said maybe.
Well, we ran out of time and guess what? They were wondering why we weren’t going to the toy store.
I didn’t promise them that we’ll go. And if I did, I’m pretty sure I would’t have said “today”. We will go to the toy store, eventually sometime over the course of the next 100 year which is how long I predict my life to last.
But they were hung up on today and wanted to go and blah blah blah, but they need to see that the things I say and mean aren’t always the way they want or expect them to be. Even after I explain what I meant (as I know miscommunication happens… sometimes more often, and with some people more easily), they still insisted (to the point of frustration) that I said what they wanted me to say.
Well, in the end everyone was happy and probably no lessons were learned, but hey, at least we got to go to the toy store.
It sounds like God made some promises too. Although in hindsight we can totally see what God meant, but I wonder if those God was making the promises to did at the time. Abram was promised to father a great nation, but in his life time he saw only two of his own kids (and one was illegitimate). I have more kids than he does, for crying out loud.
And people heard a promise of a Messiah as well, someone to save them from oppression and deliver them from evil. Then Jesus came and hung out with sick people and shared meals with sinners. That doesn’t sound very Messiah-like. That doesn’t even sound good to the people of the time. So if you could imagine, they were angry, frustrated, disappointed.
So they wanted to kill Jesus. They wanted him out of the picture. They wanted to take matters in their own hands and bring about what they understood God’s promises to be.
But Jesus explains that it was a misunderstanding. It was miscommunication. It was that the people were so caught up with what they thought they knew that they didn’t care what was actually true.
And what is true is that the Messiah saves us from the oppression of sin and guilt. Our Saviour delivers us from the sting and pain of evil. Jesus joins us together with all the saints and connects us to the unending story of love and community.
God’s promises might not be literal, but they bring us comfort. They might not be exactly as we expect, but they meet our needs. They might not happen in our time frame, but they will happen. For God is faithful and just, and welcomes us all into God’s kingdom full of grace, truth, and mercy.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!