If Jesus walked among us.....

I am not Catholic, so I don't understand everything about the Catholic Church and its traditions, but I must say that I was very impressed by what I saw during the Pope's recent visit to America.  I was also very moved as I watched the warm reception that Pope Francis received upon his arrival here and as he traveled to the different events.

While in America, he encouraged us, as well as world leaders, to honor life, care for God's creation, provide for the needy and the poor, and many other things.  He also asked us to remember the Golden Rule:  "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" Matthew 7:12 (NIV).

As I watched the masses lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the Pope, hoping for a handshake or to receive his blessing, the tears started rolling down my cheeks.  I was moved by what I saw, but I was crying because of the harsh reality brought to my mind.  

I was reminded of Jesus' triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem that we read about in John chapter 12.  As He rode into the city on the back of a donkey, the people lined the streets and greeted Him with the waving of palm branches.  They celebrated His arrival, but the people that day did not see Him as their spiritual Messiah.  They thought He had come as a political leader to free them from Roman authority.

I thought about the many occasions in the Bible where masses of people followed Jesus and listened to His teachings.  Crowds would gather as He traveled through their towns, hoping to see Him or to be able to touch Him and receive a healing.  But some of these same people are the ones who turned on Him and so eagerly demanded His crucifixion.  

The harsh reality is that if Jesus were to come to America today to just walk among us and encourage us in our faith as the Pope did, I doubt very seriously that He would be greeted with the same warm, enthusiastic reception.  As a matter of fact, I think it would be quite the opposite.  

God's Word provides us with instructions on how to live, both individually and as a nation.  We once proudly stated that we were "One Nation Under God" and were blessed and under the divine protection of God's hand.  But over the years, we as a nation have turned our back on God and refused to repent and return to the morals and values that made this country great.  Only God knows how long He has put off His judgement on America and He has given us many warnings to repent and turn back to Him. But sadly, I don't see that happening on a national level.  

Regardless of what we do as a nation, make no mistake, Jesus is coming back!  When He does, there will be no denying who He is....the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! At the second coming, He will not be riding on a donkey, or in a "Pope mobile" but He will descend from heaven on a great white horse and He is coming to judge the world. 

It breaks my heart when I picture Jesus being rejected by so many, but when He returns, there will be great rejoicing among His children!  I look forward to that day.....how about you?

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