It has been heartbreaking to watch the news this last week, with riots and looting and angry words being thrown back and forth. But what I noticed most on the faces of the people I saw on television was a look of deep pain and hurt and frustration. It goes much deeper than the cries of racism. This was a look of pain accumulated from many years of injustice – from substandard schools for the poor, people not caring, families torn apart from alcoholism and drugs, single moms trying to raise their families against the odds, being poor in a country that has so many extremes in wealth, and a general lack of morality in our culture. The tone spread throughout the country like a bad virus, and spilled over into family Thanksgiving celebrations and times where we should be coming together. It brought home the fact that the holidays are very hard for many people, those without families or means to provide, and loneliness and hurt feelings are heightened.
What is the correct response, and what is the solution for a hurting country and the world?
There is only one answer, one person, that can satisfy all our questions and truly take away the pain and injustice. Jesus Christ. No other person, no other religion or doctrine or leader, has spoken the words that Jesus said and acted as Jesus did. Jesus faced many of the same issues that we have today, but he is not just a historical figure to be studied. His truth is still true today. Jesus offers compassion for the forgotten, the poor and lonely. Only Jesus offers grace and forgiveness, no matter who you are or what you have done. Jesus often spoke against the wealth and power of this earth, yet no one has ever found any fault with him other than he claimed to be who he said he was. He healed. He understood. He cared. He carried all of our pain to the cross. He died for us. No one else has done this.
As my younger self, I might have considered this to be a lesser response to the world’s problems. I wanted to solve it my way. But as I have seen more of the world now, I know there is no other answer. Jesus is the only way out of our circumstances, and the only one who can ease our pain. During this Christmas season we see the images of baby Jesus lying in a manger, but I hope we will also see Jesus the man. Read the spoken words of Jesus in the New Testament (red-letter edition) and you will see why He came and what He stood for. In your pain, look to Jesus. Trust in Him as your Savior and He will lead you out.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, a man, Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 2:5
Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46