Saturday, November 26, 2011

Advent VII

"Ripley's Believe It or Not" is an amazing collection of things too bizarre and unusual to believe and accept as true. Yet, all those things recorded are included in the listing as something which is verifiably true even though "impossible" sounds like a better adjective. Those of us who read the Bible know about impossible sounding things. And, in that Word we are introduced to the author of impossible things. When Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she would as a virgin bear a child, she was told by the angel, "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Luke 1:37)
Another place where we find ourselves in a Ripley moment comes in the first chapter of the book of Acts as men in white robes appear to the disciples while they are watching Jesus disappear in the clouds above them. Verse 11 of that chapter says, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." Those angelic beings bring us headlong into a believe it or not moment.
It is not surprising that this part of the gospel story is viewed with such skepticism by the current followers of Jesus. Our culture demands that everything add up, make sense, and be logical. The message about the return of Jesus is not regarded as credible by many because of a world view which gives the individual permission to believe only those things which can be proven in the science lab or the school of hard knocks. But, these men in white robes do not seemed concerned with offering proof of what they were saying. The disciples who heard them could believe it or not. Such was their choice. And ours.

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