Peace and Justice (30.12.21)
Peace and Justice by Krish Kandiah
Social entrepreneur, theologian and author
A picture of three pairs of skis. A child holding a sign saying, 'Every Superhero needs a sidekick'. A man collapsed on the floor holding a pregnancy test. People choose the funniest ways to announce they are expecting a baby.
Gone are the days when a phone-around with close family and friends was enough. Now, thanks to social media, a whole new wave of creativity has been unleashed. Scanning through pictures of birth announcements you catch a sense of the joy and excitement of new parents who want the whole world to know someone is coming into their lives. The unborn child is cherished and longed for way before the actual birth.
Reading: Isaiah 9:2,6-7
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined... For a child has been born for us, a son given to as; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and forevermore.
For Christians, the birth of Jesus is not revealed a mere few months but a crazy 700 years early, through the Prophet Isaiah. Times were tough then. Isaiah had a lot of bad news to pass on. God's people would lose their homes, their freedom and their security. But God did not want them to lose their hope. In the middle of a stream of doom and judgement, Isaiah posts his good news.
This child will be born to rule with justice. What good news to people oppressed and threatened by the Assyrian empire. This boy will be a wonderful counsellor. What good news to people in dire straits because of their own bad decisions. This tiny baby will be Mighty God. What good news to people suffering under an ungodly ruler. This son will be an everlasting Father. What good news to people who need nurturing with wisdom and grace. This child will be Prince of Peace. What good news to people living under constant threat of aggression and war.
Even in the middle of a world in chaos, God brings the good news of hope. Christmas reminds us of a child who came 2,000 years ago - and who will come again to fulfil those promises to a world still in chaos. He will bring justice, wisdom, nurture, and peace.
UNICEF estimates around 383,000 babies are born every day. Many are cherished and loved. But sadly too many will experience neglect, abuse poverty and hunger.
Jesus came into the world for every one of them. What could you do or give this Christmas to help bring greater justice and security to the most vulnerable?
Unto us a boy is born