Are our hopes of Christ’s return drifting into darkness?

Published 8:44 am Tuesday, December 21, 2010

By REV. GEORGE HOLLIS/Guest Columnist

Oh, what joy it must have been when Christ came and lived among us.

The Old Testament Christian Bible had prophesized for thousands of years a coming Messiah.

At some point this long wait started drifting into the background of people’s thoughts, becoming weaker with each passing generation.

Then, when the prospect of a Messiah was almost obscured into darkness, it happened! Like no other person, this man exuded a love of people that could heal with just a touch. Now, we wait again. Are our hopes drifting into darkness today?

The Lord tells us that we are not to know the day of His return. But we still hope. Paul, in the New Testament, hoped with all his heart the day would come.

The difference was that Paul and the other Apostles were still wrapped in great joy living at the time of Jesus and the resurrection.

In that day many were discovering the Gospel of Christ, but many more were still thinking that the Messiah is yet to come. The Gospel writer Matthew wanted so badly to convince everyone that Jesus is the Christ.

Forty-three times Matthew quotes Old Testament prophecy to prove Jesus is the Messiah.

Matthew was writing to people who knew the Old Testament very well. When John the Baptist’s disciples ask Jesus “are you the one or should we wait for another?” (Matthew 11:3 NRS). Jesus responds “the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.” (Matthew 11:5 NRS) This is from Isaiah 35:4-6 NRS. Some might say that Jesus did not answer John’s question.

But, when John heard this, even in prison, he leaped, danced and cried with indescribable joy, and so shall we.

The Rev. George Hollis is pastor of Cahaba Valley Church, 5099 Caldwell Mill Road. You can reach him at