The Lamb of God was “slain from the foundation of the world” in that it had always been God’s eternal purpose to send his Son into the world. But God also unfolded history in such a way as to prepare the perfect time for his coming. He is the ruler of history, which is “His story, ” and he made the cross of Christ the very center of that story.
O Lord of history, ruler of all ages, you who arranged the events of time have also arranged the events of our lives in particular. You know the right time for everything. Your purposes are not always clear to us, but we know that you make no mistake. Teach us to trust your providential rule in our lives! Amen.
The beginning of Luke’s Gospel has always been one of my favorite readings. It makes me feel confident that I can believe what I have been taught. It also gives me peace because I know that God’s promise has been fulfilled. We have been set free from fear. Of course, we will know fear of the unknown in this unpredictable world, but not fear of death because we can be sure that death is not the end, only the beginning of a new life. Otherwise, how could we continue to experience happiness and joy in the face of suffering? This freedom of fear, this belief in the good news – this Gospel message – is what made the early Christians so willing to face suffering in the name of Jesus. It is what motivated them to spread the good news to anyone who would listen. Is our world any less in need of the Gospel than theirs? I doubt it. Considering how we work so hard to be happy! How hard we work to avoid pain or suffering! So why are we not motivated to do as they did? Maybe we need to spend more time listening to the words of Jesus. The more time we spend with the Scriptures, especially the New Testament, the more joy we will experience in our lives and the more prepared we will be to help others understand our commitment to our faith. Who doesn’t need a little more joy?