From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force.
These words couldn’t ring truer as we near the end of another year and look back on 2015. In the United States, the defeats that we have endured this year when it comes to the issues of life, marriage, the family and religious liberty can seem like small potatoes compared to the violence and persecution that Christians (and others) have suffered at the hands of Islamic terrorists in France, Mali, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. All are attacks against the Kingdom of heaven.
Have we been defeated? Absolutely not. In the words of the Prophet Isaiah, “Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel, I will help you, says the Lord; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” We are awaiting that redeemer’s arrival, not just in a manger, but also in glory on the last day. His is the final victory.
So how, in the meantime, should we respond to such attacks?
Jesus said that none of us here on earth can compare to John the Baptist, and yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he: Shouldn’t our response be to live our lives in such a way that we may one day be part of that Kingdom? Shouldn’t we, like John the Baptist, be proclaiming the advent of the Holy One of Israel? Shouldn’t we be heralds of hope over fear?
We’re just about halfway through Advent now. Have you found that you’ve stumbled in your efforts to prepare for the Newborn King in the midst of “preparing for Christmas?” Let’s recommit ourselves now to focusing on his Kingdom, which we one day hope to join.
—Anna Mitchell is the news director and producer of the Son Rise Morning Show.