Come Not As A Man Of Power, But In Love And Compassion
Reflection by: Karl W.
Advent is a special time for the Church each year, as it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the humble beginnings of our Lord. If any man in human history deserved a birth surrounded with excess, pomp, and glamour, it was Jesus. But he did not have such a birth. Rather, Christ was born in a humble manger, in the backwoods town of Bethlehem. One would expect a man of his power to have been born into the lap of luxury, with Generals, Princes, and Conquerors from around the surrounding area on hand to witness this historic event. However, this was not the setting into which our King chose to begin his story. He was utterly unlike any King that had come before. Put simply, Jesus came into the world not to establish his dominion by force, but to reach out with genuine love and compassion for all.
This posture of love and compassion from such a powerful man stands in direct contrast to the behavior of the majority of human rulers the world has known. As the old adage states, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This holds true in our world today, as a quick glance of the newspaper shows countless examples of people with power exploiting those “underneath” them. The sheer scope of human misery inflicted on the powerless by those in power is disheartening. Yet, the beauty of this Advent season is found in the incredible hope that our Lord Jesus brings to the world through his birth. It is this hope that we anticipate through the season of Advent; the hope that there is a purpose in the suffering of the poor, the weak and the needy. That a Savior, long foretold, is indeed coming with love and compassion for the world, and his arrival will change everything.
King Jesus, through his ministry of healing, love, and peace, gives us a model to follow in our own lives. We have power over something or someone. And the question is how we are going to use this power. Will we recklessly pursue our own selfish interests, greedy for power, prestige, and earthly glory that will fail to satisfy and surely will fade? Or will we take up our cross daily, submitting to Jesus’ example of love and compassion for all, putting the needs of our neighbor before our own? As we continue in this Advent season, may our communal prayer be that God, in his overflowing goodness, guide those in positions of power to walk in His truth, and that we as His people will continue to serve with love and compassion all those who are in desperate need of the loving touch of Christ.
Karl W. is a Junior, Corporate Finance Major from San Antonio. He is involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Bridge, an ecumenical praise and worship group on campus.