Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"hail the heav'n born Prince of peace"

"every warrior's boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.

for to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
and he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on david's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
the zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this."
(isaiah 9.5-7 tniv)

of course this is not a place to get political, so don't think that i'm talking about politics when i say, "i hate war." it doesn't make any sense to me. bill loves to watch movies like brave.heart, t.roy, or 300. i just can't understand the mentality that says, "i know, the best way to handle our conflict is to throw a bunch of men at each other and see how can kill the most."

i know that there are women in the armed forces so (as well as not being political) i also don't want to be sexist. but i really think i lack what is a traditionally male mentality. when i watch a movie like braveheart, where these huge crowds of men go rushing at each other, i always try to picture myself being way near the back where you can look like you are really into the battle and like you really do want to fight but you aren't in any actual danger. is that weird?

as gory and graphic as it sounds, i love the opening verse of today's passage. we don't need any more warrior's boots. all the bloody garments can be burned. what is the cause of this good news? people thought this would be the case at other times: world war 1 was supposed to be the war to end all wars. who is going to put a stop to war?

a child will be born to inaugurate a new day, a new way of life. this isn't just someone like mother theresa, ghandi or martin luther king, jr, who has some good ideas and challenging speeches to make. this is someone who is going to take over the government of the world. a ruler who is wise and wonderful who accomplishes the defeat of enemies while loving his own children tenderly. he will be the Forever King, the one to sit on david's throne forever and ever. someone who is able to be both righteous and peaceful. this is the kind of ruler we need.

but how will this happen? Jesus has been born and we are still dealing with wars upon wars. isaiah tells us, "the zeal of the Lord will accomplish this." israel may have thought that God no longer cared, that he had abandoned them. isaiah says, "no;" God's zeal is stronger than ever and he will make sure all these things happen.

the same is true for us. with the failing economy, war, death and destruction all over the world, we might lose hope. we might think God is too hands off. we need to hold to the promise of isaiah that God is as zealous as ever. he is going to come and keep his promises to establish the Forever King who is also a prince of peace.

"He who testifies to these things says, 'yes, I am coming soon.'
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."
(revelation 22.20 tniv)

for the kids: what do they think about war? what do they think about when they hear something about war on the news or they hear about parents of friends who have to go oversees? talk about the significance of Jesus' reign as putting an end to war forever. take some time to pray for people you know who are overseas during this holiday time. for a project, make a crown. you could write on it the names of Jesus that Isaiah lists here or makes symbols that represent each of the four titles (a dove for prince of peace, etc.).

No comments: