“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
Glory be, we are almost to Christmas day!
Our family has continued reading our SRT Advent table cards (for the third year in a row, I think?) and answering the great questions they prompt over breakfast every morning, but we’ve also started a new routine of listening to a chapter a day from Luke via the Bible Gateway app (I use the NLT translation because it sounds more story-like with voices and music.)
One thing that has jumped out at me while going through Luke this time has been the political language of authority and government, especially as it’s related to the Christmas Story. I know the Lord is personally confronting me on the issue of authority (in my own heart) and I don’t doubt his perfect timing! It’s got me pondering…in our race to the manger, have we attempted to neutralize the effects of an emerging kingdom? Have we missed the glory of the coming King?
When the angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds (see the verse above), he was quoting from Isaiah 9. I’d like to include the first part of Isaiah’s quote (verses 2-7) here for you to read:
“If we are to describe this in terms of a line of growth or life projectory, the movement is from the authoritarian, through the autonomous, to the acknowledgment of the authoritative. As freedom from authoritarian oppression, autonomy is a kind of liberation. But autonomy alone, thought of as unqualified fulfillment of self, is a new oppression. Religious geniuses such as Paul, Augustine, and Luther viewed such autonomy as the oppression of the imperial self, the source and shape of our alienation from God. Beyond autonomy is the free acknowledgment of that by which we are bound. We are bound to be free.”
While a precious few Jewish contemporaries of Jesus recognized that he was their Messiah, the majority did not. They instead clung to their autonomy of ethnicity and religious law and missed the inauguration of a new kingdom—one that had been given for their behalf. May we not be the same way! My prayer is that I continually relinquish the throne of my heart and allow the rightful King to dwell there in fullness…and I pray this for you, too. He is the only one who can initiate a true government of justice, righteousness, and peace in our lives, and He is so worthy!
No matter where you are in the world –what nation you live in or government you live under– I hope that the seed of Christ is planted deep in your heart and that the light of his eternal kingdom is breaking dawn there! His loving and holy reign knows no bounds.
As always, THANK YOU for going with me on this #everydaytheology journey. I look forward to what the next year brings our way!
Merry Christmas from our family to yours,