Maybe it isn’t all that bad out there…

This is not a post about Christmas! It is about Isaiah 9:6-7… which is definitely about the birth of Jesus. However, it’s so easy to just picture these words in a scripty font underneath a Precious Moments nativity scene, and think about the cute little baby and miss what’s being promised.

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Hyper-simplified summary

  • Verse 6: Jesus is coming, and he’s awesome.
  • Verse 7: Things get better from there.

“Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.”

Jesus comes, and his government and peace increase from then on. That’s the promise. Do you believe that? To be frank, the naysayers who are constantly predicting the demise of the church, the loss of human decency, and the world’s inevitable decline into debauchery get on my nerves. I don’t buy it.

I don’t think the church is hanging on by a thread. I don’t think the next generation is hopeless. And I certainly don’t think that the Kingdom of God is forcefully retreating.

I don’t deny the existence of evil, suffering and despair. How could I? Nor do I deny that Christian virtues are dismissed among many. Of course they are. But that’s nothing new.

I think the 50s have been idealized. Church attendance was all but mandatory, hats were tipped, and discretion maintained. If the sitcoms are to be believed, people were also quite perfect, asexual, ever-smiling machines.

To be fair, it does seem that many biblical virtues were more highly valued in the golden era than they are today. Of course, there was also blatant discrimination of women, open hatred of homosexuals, and water fountains reserved for white people.

They still had prayer in their schools, and that’s good:

  • The whites had prayer in their schools,
  • and the blacks had prayer in theirs.

I’m just not sure how much better that is.

The whole “p.c.” thing has gotten a bit out of hand. Nevertheless, if Forrest Gump went to school wearing those leg braces today, he wouldn’t get the crap beat out of him nearly as often.

Maybe I’m ignorant, naive, and idealistic. I probably am.
But I just think that the message of Jesus is taking more ground than it’s surrendering.

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end…with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.

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