Once again, I find myself with a great many moral theology topics that I could discuss, but what is on my heart is something else entirely. I was reading an article the other day, and the writer, who would consider herself “spiritual,” but not “religious,” was musing about the story of the birth of Jesus as she was preparing for Christmas. She was very honest about her beliefs, and stated that she really had no problem believing in God, but believing in Jesus was another matter entirely. She acknowledged that his birth was the reason that we celebrate Christmas, but she was conflicted about what he meant, said, represented, etc. and wasn’t sure that she wanted to have a creche since then she would have to explain to her children who Jesus is. In the end, she decided to put up a creche.
This article got me thinking about a challenge that a priest issued to me after Peter died. I met with him fairly regularly in the months immediately following Peter’s death, and he had walked with us in the months leading up to Peter’s death as well. As a result, he knew very well the struggles that I was having. One day when we were meeting I was sharing with him my anger and my struggle to understand why this had happened, and he said to me, “You won’t be satisfied with any answer other than Jesus. You can try to find meaning in his death somewhere else. You can run a race in his memory, fundraise for a cure for cancer, or write a book in an attempt to bring meaning to his death. In the end, though, you will not be satisfied with any answer other than Jesus. Don’t stop until you find that the answer to your question is Jesus.”
I think that this priest understood that there usually is no answer to the question, Why? At least, here on earth there is hardly ever an answer to that question. The answer to our “whys” is found in a manger in Bethlehem and on a cross on Calvary. There is no generic”God” present there. Rather, there is Jesus — a crying, living, breathing, hurting, loving God who would rather die himself than see us die. He is the answer to our questions, and if we choose to not be satisfied with anything but him, we will find him.
I hope that the writer I mentioned above doesn’t strop struggling until she finds that nothing makes sense apart from Jesus. I hope that she finally finds her answer in Jesus.