This Is Our Source Of Joy

Emmanuel! God is with us. Jesus is the revelation of this reality. Peter is addressing the deep theological truth at the center of our faith, which has been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. Our Christian faith reveals to us that Jesus is, at one and the same time, fully God and fully man. This passage speaks to that reality when it reveals to us that, “He was known before the foundation of the world…” (verse 20) Because we have seen Jesus in the flesh, we have faith in God. Why? Because Jesus has shown us the face and the very nature of God. As Jesus tells us himself: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

In our credal statement of faith (Nicene Creed), we say that “we believe in one God, the Father almighty. We believe that Jesus Christ was “born of the Father before all ages. God from God, light from light, True God from True God.” We believe that, “through him all things were made.” We believe that, for our sake and for our salvation, he “came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.” We believe that he was “crucified, suffered death, was buried and rose again on the third day, in accordance with the scriptures.” We believe “in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.” This is our faith. We believe in one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is what God has revealed to us in Jesus and through the Holy Scriptures. This is the source and the reason of our faith and our hope.

Jesus came among us, as Peter says here in this passage, so that we would come to believe in God and so that our “faith and hope would be in God.” And so it is. We can believe in God, because Jesus has shown us the very nature of God. For it is through Jesus that we have seen the infinite love and mercy that God has for us. Therefore, we can have hope, because the ancient promise of God to Abraham has been fulfilled in Jesus: “For he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” (Luke 1:54-55)

This is our faith. This is the source of our joy. Because of Jesus, we who believe are a people of hope. We have seen in Jesus the mystery of God’s love and we have been challenged as Christian believers to love one another with that same kind of love. Because we have seen, and because we believe, we are a people of great courage. We can be so because, in Jesus, we have the perfect reason to hope for God’s mercy in our daily lives, and for the strength of his constant and ready graces. We can believe because we know, in faith, that the one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is with us in the here and now. In this faith we can live each day in profound hope for that glorious day when, after we have shuffled off this mortal coil, we will stand before the throne of God and see him face to face—forever.

Lord, we pray that you deepen our faith in you every day. Help us to make our faith in you come alive in all that we say and do, so that those who have not yet come to believe, might be drawn to you by our love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.