11 Dec Not My Birthday
It seems like the world is falling apart. No, really. North Korea is launching…whatever they did this time. Foreign nationals, our government is training to fly airplanes, are shooting American service members on our own bases, in country. Volcanoes are erupting. And do not get me started on our own government. I could talk for days about their inability to be civil, or at the very least, act like grown people. Everyone is so concerned with public perception and power, they are not taking care of issues that need to be fixed. It’s annoying.
It can be easy to convince ourselves that we are living in unique times, but let’s be real…governments are not known for doing things for the sake of righteousness. Altruistic motives are not linked with any government, and they certainly are not attached to our current model. That makes this Christmas even more important.
About 2,800 years ago, a man named Isaiah walked the earth during a very contentious period in history—particularly the history of God’s chosen people. Isaiah was part of the kingdom of Judah. Israel—the Northern Tribes—had already fallen to the Assyrians, and the writing was on the wall for Judah. God used Isaiah to relay his message to direct His rebellious people back to Him. Their king was corrupt, false prophets were popular, and the rich took every advantage to get richer. (If any of that scenario sounds familiar it was not intended.) The problem was Isaiah’s promises were not going to be realized in his lifetime…and we are still waiting for complete fulfillment of those words.
We are still waiting, but we do have reason to celebrate. “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Jesus came into the world to show us the way to live…to bring righteousness to our sinful lives.
While Isaiah’s promises will not be realized until Jesus returns, God did not intend for His followers to be fatalists. We could choose to believe things will just keep getting worse, which frees us to only worry about ourselves. Jesus does not call us to do that. Imagine what it would look like if our leaders were followers of Jesus, moving our government from their shoulders to those of Jesus. The decisions we make and the way we live should rest not on our shoulders but on Jesus’. The increase of our households and families would know no end.
Christmas is a celebration of God showing up…in a big way. Jesus intends for us to place our celebrations, decision-making, and future squarely on His shoulders. May we give this Christmas back to Jesus as a means to live for Him and rely on His leadership.
Blessings to you,