One day, after a long morning and afternoon session at the hospital, I am driving down the highway when I notice a large white truck…with a large cross in the truck bed. And on the cross, the message, “Jesus is Coming” was written in large bold print. As I got closer, the rest of the truck also had the same message all over it. As I passed the cross and the truck, I left feeling…uneasy.
Sure, it sounds like a nice message. “Jesus is coming”. But what does that mean? And more importantly, who is this message for?
“Jesus is coming”…why is Jesus coming? Well, several New Testament scriptures state that Jesus said himself that he would return one day to restore everything again. But I still want to know what does it mean for Jesus to come back again?
Does that mean no more suffering for the marginalized? Does that mean no more pain for the sick? Does that mean no more oppression or violence or injustice?
If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then I can get behind the message that “Jesus is coming”.
So then, why do I still feel uneasy?
I feel uneasy because when I hear that message, I often see the implicit messages included with the statement, “Jesus is Coming” which can include: “Don’t Worry about Your Troubles Now, for one Day Jesus will Take Care of All of it”.
Again, a nice message; however, it’s easy for the person who is not in the midst of oppression, injustice, and marginalization to say that they can wait for Jesus to take care of everything.
And the irony is that when Jesus was on Earth, all he did was sit with the oppressed, stand up for the marginalize, and teach about Love and Justice to all he spoke to.
And now Jesus’s message of his return is being used implicitly to say, “Don’t worry, someone [Jesus] will take care of your problems on day”.
I am uneasy with this message, because it puts all the responsibility on Jesus and takes all of the responsibility off us.
I want to say that one day Jesus will return again, but I don’t interpret it that Jesus will take care of all our problems for our problems are here and very much real.
Instead, I think we should be more like Jesus: Putting all our actions into loving our neighbors and standing up for injustice when we see it.
Perhaps that is how Jesus is coming back to give us hope. Perhaps Jesus needs to act through us in order to bring back love and peace into the world.
Can you imagine how much the world might change if we all acted like Jesus by loving and caring for all the people we come into contact with every day? That is a future that I can “wait” for, not a future where we wait ideally by for a Savior to take care of everything that we can be working for right now.
So as you reflect on my words, may you look at the life of Jesus and learn how to love and stand up for the oppressed now like Jesus would when he was on earth. And may you Love all your Neighbors as much as you would Love your Entire Ruah!