The Government Shall Rest on His Shoulders
In the beginning, God says, “Let there be light!” -Genesis 1:3
Advent this year has been a time of awaiting the final redemption. Hope has been the central core of my reflections, and I have been looking both at the present and to the future for inspiration.
Christ is with us, every one of us, by the power of the Spirit that hovered over the waters. Advent is a time to prepafe for our memorial of the Lord’s birth, but also a time to Rejoice. This coming Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, or Rejoice Sunday. Taken from Phillipians 4:4-5 We remember that “The Lord is at hand.”
The prospect of God-with-us seems so close at hand, we’re in December, Christmas is nearly upon us, and so with the rest of the waiting world we must use this time to shake the dust. Advent is a time of preparation, but it is also a time of awakening. There is good out there, waiting, coming to us and through us.
“Salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” -Romans 13:11 and with St. Paul we must all wake up, and welcome the light that God has ordained for us. The light of His Son that eternally is begotten by the Father and comes to us in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is at hand. This little babe, wrapped in cloth and cooing in his mothers arms, this little one, it is He who shall judge the nations with an iron rod. It is He who shall put away darkness, it is He who bears us up into the very life of God through our theosis. It is He who sends forth the Spirit to renew the face of the earth.
“Behold, I am making all things new.” -Revelation 21:5
In the beginning, there was darkness, in the end, the is the Son who is our light and our temple. It is He who shall be for us the Throne of God, His flesh shall be our salvation. His wounds shall save us from our sins. This little king which comes, it is He who is God’s answer to the cry of the poor and the oppressed.
Those who think they must teach justice, and do so apart from Christ forsake the very answer. God has heard the cry of the lowly and brought down kings and magistrates from their thrones through this child, this king, this rejected one. It is well with us, God is coming to us, He brings peace and salvation.
The child in the cow trough “meek and lowly of heart” overthrows the brute force of Caesar through enthroning Himself in our suffering. It is our glory to behold the child, who by nature of His very existence, breathing and curled against His mother’s breast spells the end of empires.
It is this little child who “has filled the hungry with good things.” -Luke Ch. 1 Magnificat. He has helped His servant Israel, and has scattered the proud. His mercy is for those who fear Him, for those who welcome His coming. The dawn from on high has broken, it is our job in this season to welcome such a coming. As the day breaks we must take care to perceive whether we lie shrouded in shadows or are opening our eyes.
Our empire is not fashioned on the blood of victims and the oppression of the poor, no, our kingdom is not built with stone or flesh or gold, it is not ruthless nor cunning, no, this empire is built upon the hardened prudence of a people who reject the peace of Caesar. This empire is fashioned in the wild hope, tempered like steel, with souls of iron this hope endures. It is the hope of glory, that this little child, this tiny Jesus shall really and truly have been and continue to be God’s answer to the cry of the lowly. The government will be upon HIS shoulders, and His kingdom shall have no end.
We are two years past the world’s hope that Barack Obama should change the world. Things remain as they were, enduringly tedious, and the machinations of empires go out far and wide, maintaining the status quo. Yet this little child, offers us a challenge to all of that.
It is time for a different kind of world, a different kind of empire. This is not just a titillating fantasy to help us cope with the dark reality we find ourselves in. It is the only solution to that dark reality. In the beginning, God said “Let there be light,” and there was. So too Advent and Christmas offer us this light. The story that the gospels tell show us God putting into effect His justice, His Order, into the chaos we have made.
The government is not on our shoulders and that is part of the good news of the gospel. Good men, bad men, women and children cannot force the salvation of the world. This is good news. They can, try as they might, bring things before us, but they cannot change business as usual. Yet a baby hiding in a cow trough turned the world upside down and continues to do so.
We are the kingdom-bringers, we are the advent people, we are the people who are saved in hope. Our hope has tempered our souls and invites us to stop. It invites us, not to substitute Barack Obama with Jesus, but to change the dream altogether. Only through careful, deep and thoughtful devotion to the one who calls us to Love our God, and then our neighbors shall we learn the way of peace.
Fall silent, and contemplate that God has put Himself on our side forever through this little jewish boy. O come, that we may Go up to the House of the Lord, let us adore Him, so that when the world is moved by speeches of change and hope that turn out to be empty, we shall have a higher purpose in mind. So that when the world is imperiled with doubts and anxieties we shall rush once more into the breach, knowing that the Government rests upon His shoulder, and not ours.
Let us know that, despite the machinations of men, He shall rule the nations with an iron rod, and that the judgment He brings shall give us peace. In the power of His Spirit, we go forth into the world with a simple thought, “The baby in the cow trough is the hope, He is the Change.”
Nothing else will do, be it governments and empires or money or power, none shall bring real and lasting change. Let us face this dark chaos with a simple awareness that just as God once brought order to primordial chaos with light, so too He does with us, in each heart that confesses and each life that lives the statement “Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Each of us is an advent of the Lord, it is through our lives that God continues to speak the first words ever uttered in the sacred scriptures, “Let there be Light.”