‘He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.’ (vv3b–4a) Isaiah 11:1–9

One week to Christmas Day. For those lighting candles in their Advent wreath, today’s candle traditionally represents peace. Our world is always in need of peace, and of course one of Jesus’ titles is Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6)

For peace to preside, there must be some authority to establish order, and Jesus is that supreme authority. Present at the creation of the universe, He knows how all things hold together (Col. 1:17). Yet, we know from Genesis that we play our part in sustaining that peace.

God never enforces His authority but invites us to implement it through our actions. When we fail then there is a breakdown of the order within God’s kingdom and space is created for effective enemy action (Gen. 3:21–24).

Jesus’ incarnation is the budding of God’s purpose in restoring relationship with humanity. Years of waiting and calling out to God begin to bear the early signs of harvest.

It’s a reminder that our times are in God’s hands (Psa. 31:14–15a). It’s why we celebrate Christmas, the reopening of a long-lost door into God’s welcome acceptance and embrace.

It’s little wonder that the beneficial reason for Christmas can so easily be lost in the cacophony of misplaced celebration. We enjoy the apparent peace afforded by a long Christmas break, yet sadly a peace without order, a peace that quickly disintegrates based only on empty longing. Ensure Jesus is the centre of your Christmas this year.

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Psa. 119:161–168; Isa. 26:1–6; Matt. 5:1–12; Rom. 12:9–21.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: Look over the statements in the Matthew selection. How might you implement these in your daily life?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, encourage me to hate what is evil and love what is good. Amen.’

Photo by Sheila Brown on PublicDomainPictures.Net

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.