For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
These words from the prophet Isaiah have been circling continually through my mind this Christmas season as again and again I am struck by the promises of justice and endless peace. Now, these values did not reign during the life of Jesus or even after he died and rose and ascended, and I think we are all quite aware that we do not have justice nor endless peace today. Rather, these promises are part of that "already and not yet" tension of our world: justice and peace, in some very small measure, are here, but their completion has yet to arrive. God's beautiful redemptive work began with the infant in a dirty manger, but it was not finished there. Rather, it continued and continues still and will continue onward until that distant day when justice and endless peace really do come and stay and reign and change everything, that day when God will make all things well.
And all this begun with a little child, a tiny Messiah... and long, long before he was tangible and here and lying naked as an infant before humanity, there was this ancient foretelling by the prophets... and outside of time and in complete control and knowing every word of the story is God.
So as this holiday season moves towards its close, may we continue to wait on and seek endless peace and justice, and as we do so, may we rejoice in the child born for us. Much love tonight and always, dear ones. Merry Christmas.