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The justice bringer

by Robert Docter, Editor-In-Chief –

And it came to pass…

Yes, it did!

These words at the beginning of the Christmas story in Luke’s Gospel speak volumes. The prophecies of centuries earlier came to fruition as a family huddled together in the dark of a stable with their newborn son. Warmed only by the strength of their love for each other, the family of the Babe of Bethlehem nurtured the Prince of Peace and gave us Messiah—the Christ.

The prophet Isaiah spoke for God with these words:

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my spirit upon him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.

He won’t call attention to what he does
with loud speeches and gaudy parades.
He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt
nor disregard the small and insignificant;
but he will steadily and firmly set things right.
He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped
until he’s finished his work.

This is what the Lord says—
he who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it,
who gives breath to his people
and makes them alive with his own life.
I the Lord have called you to righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind
to free captives from their prisons
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
(Isaiah 42: 1-7)

Over 700 hundred years earlier, Isaiah had spoken for God about the coming of his servant, his son, the Christ—and it came to pass.

Can you stop for just a moment—can you put aside the frenzied, frantic, feel that suggests that Christmas is simply one big shopping spree? Can you stop and listen?

A baby whimpers somewhere in the night. He’s cold and hungry…and feels alone. He raises a cry from his crèche, his tiny arms flailing in the tempo of his frustration.

Does no one stop to listen—to hear the soft, seeking cry of a baby?
Only the mother comes to cradle him in her arms. Only the mother shines the light of her eyes deep into the heart of his fear as she holds him to her breast and rocks him with the warmth of her love.

Then, secure in an awareness of caring love, the baby, now comforted and content, sleeps peacefully.

We share that need—to be loved and comforted in our distress. We still need the warmth of a mother’s breast to deal with our hurts, to meet an unmet need, to listen to stories of despair. There are those among us of all ages whose whimper in the night takes many forms, whose cry is articulated in many ways.

Can you hear them? Are your ears and your heart tuned in such a way as to make possible the perception of unstated need in cries for help heard in shouts of anger or viewed in quiet withdrawal.

If such a cry awakens your conscience, will you heed its call or do you feel it’s “not your place to get involved”—or that “someone else more skilled will minister to the person?” We all have a range of default rationalizations that permits us to be uncaring, unavailable, uninvolved and unloving.

Can you hear it as a child’s whimper within the night darkness of a soul? What will you do?

The Christ child fulfilled his mission, and is available to us as a model of servanthood.
Yes, “… it came to pass.” It happened. He modeled for us the most creative way imaginable to find something by losing it, to become wealthy by giving, to lead by serving, to feel refreshed in the exhaustion within energy expended for others.

The only things in life truly worth having are the things we give away—and most of these
“things” are not found on store shelves.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all…(you finish it).

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