When I think of Christmas readings, I think of this one. 'The people walking in darkness have seen a great light', and 'a child is born, a son in given, etc'. Powerful, emotive moving words. Words that were written hundreds of years before the son was given and before the great light came to the people in darkness.
These words describe the beauty and joy that comes with this promised son. The nations are enlarged. Joy is increased. The rod and yoke and bar has been shattered. There is freedom. This is utter joy. It describes how war will come to an end. How the everything to do with war will be burnt up. That the coming of this light in darkness will be the end of the military and war and fighting.
And yet we sit on the other side of the Syria Bombing vote. And we think where is this light that will shatter the yoke, shatter the bar and shatter the rod? And we see war increasing, and the warriors boot being used in battle and not burnt.
From the back of this, we can do one of two things.
We can despair. We can rage against the machine. We can give up and declare the government as corrupt.
Or we can increase our cry of 'Come Lord Jesus Come'. If war is going to end, and the prince of peace is arriving when Jesus comes, then we need to pray for Jesus to come. If the one who has the government of, not just the UK but, the whole world resting on his shoulders is Jesus, then we need to cry 'Come Lord Jesus Come'. If we are angry for lack of justice and righteousness, then we need to cry 'Come Lord Jesus Come', as justice and righteousness are his and his alone.
So instead of despairing, cry maranatha.