Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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Special feature from LDN's Worship Guide

A government ... for the people

By Mark Weber, pastor, Mount Pulaski Christian Church

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[December 11, 2013]  It seems that one of our national pastimes is complaining about government, and probably rightfully so. It seems that government has the knack for messing up just about everything.

And yet, I remember that after being overseas for the first time in my life, I wrote in my journal, "I love the USA." We are so blessed, not only economically, but also blessed with a lot of freedoms we take for granted and it's because of government. Government was ordained by God, and there is a lot of good because of it. However, no government system is perfect. All governments are fallen, and they all fail to some extent.

As I read through the Christmas texts, I am amazed at how much government talk surrounds the Christmas story. The wise men came looking to find a king, a political leader. In Matthew 2 it says, "Out of Bethlehem will come a ruler" again, a political leader. In Luke 2 it says, "The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end" all political terms.

We usually think about the spiritual significance of Christmas, how Jesus came to save us from our sins. That's true. But the original promise of a Messiah carried political significance. Jesus came to set up a perfect kingdom where he will reign forever.

In Isaiah 9:6-7 it says:

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.

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When this child is born, there will be a new government, a new leader, which will bring hope, joy and peace. Because of this new government and new leader, the theme that runs throughout Isaiah 9 is joy. There will be "no more gloom" for those in distress. God has "increased their joy." People will "rejoice."

In other words, we now have a new leader. Jesus is our king. The full realization of that kingship is not yet fully manifested, but when it is fully consummated, there will be unending peace and joy. And because we know it will happen sooner or later, we can live in joy, peace and confidence.

The Christmas season is a reminder that only one government is fully good and only one government is eternal.

[By MARK WEBER, Mount Pulaski Christian Church]

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