Easy to lose focus
It is easy to lose focus and perspective when we get absorbed in one line of thought. Absorbed in a cause, a challenge, a debate, or an impassioned view of an issue. When you see the word government what comes to mind?
Are you concerned about a new presidential administration or the state of our nation? How about wars and refugees? Violence seems to pop up all over the world and our nation is not immune to it. Concerns about the economy, international trade, and jobs, international unrest, immigration, freedoms and rights all come to mind.
But all of these are issues and concerns of human government. As you read this on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, you might be wondering, "What kind of Christmas message is this?!" "How about something uplifting and hopeful?" Exactly my point!
A better government
Having lived outside my native culture and nation for 15 years (1990's and early 2000's), I have an appreciation for my own country and government that many Americans may not have. And yet, long ago, I stopped putting any hope in human government as a means of bringing world change. This isn't cynicism, but realism.
Keep in mind, I came of age during the 60's and was part of the cultural revolution (of sorts) in that era. That experience brought great distrust in big government, and I'm a fan of localized government—community-based government. The kind I see in the first church (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37).
Where does this somewhat utopian government come from? Here's a prophetic view of it—
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
A Son is given
Sound good? Too good to be true? If your only view of government (national, local, or even church politics) has brought cynicism, then it might be hard to believe. But this government was inaugurated when Jesus was born nearly 2000 years ago (see Luke 2:8-14).
I don't want to go on and on with a laborious commentary on the above Scripture, but I'd like to point out a couple things that might help with the cynicism.
Jesus (God as a man) came as a child—a humble beginning in a rustic and humble environment. He is God's Son, so He represents and makes visible the very nature and power of God—a nature and power to bring redemption—a real rescue and transformation of human nature and life.
A strong and humble leader
The government will be "on his shoulders," that is, not on the backs of people (think real freedom and liberty) (see Matthew 11:28-30).
His government (ruling authority) is based on and brings peace (think genuine harmony), justice (think mercy and fairness), and righteousness (think true integrity and goodness).
And here's the best part—it may begin humbly and simply, but it will increase more and more into eternity.
So, how does one come under this wonderful government?
Humbly and personally, just like Jesus came (see Mark 10:13-16).
This Christmas, may you know the peace and joy that comes from knowing God through His Son Jesus, for all creation and everyone in it rests upon His shoulders, and we can trust fully in Him.