21 December 2016

Gathered by the child of peace

Went to the ever popular Concordia Christmas concert this weekend. Great music from choirs and orchestra, scriptures interspersed with strange liturgical tomes. I might even be on public TV for ages to come if the cameras swung past my visage.
This year is the 90th year of concerts. I have attended 2 previous to this year. These concerts have the heft of high church tradition and evoke the mystery of the Christmas season- how an Almighty God came to rescue his creation. There are a myriad of facets to that plan. Thematically this year's concert strived to look at community and peace. Very relevant topics considering the recent political cycle in the US.
According to the scriptures, the birth of Jesus brought shepherds and some type of foreign ambassadors (my take on magi) together although not at the same time.
Missing from this assembled "community"- the religious leaders and political ruler of the land. Religious leaders identified the prophecy of the Christ (Micah 5:2-3) but did nothing, probably intending to keep the status quo between them and the government (Herod's authority.) The ruler- Herod- was pretty furious about the notion of a king who may usurp his hold on power. He then set in motion a murderous spree of children in Bethlehem. Fortunately, Jesus' parents were warned beforehand and fled south.
Some well worded context from the 1st  Chapter of the Gospel of John enlighens us:
9The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.    
This "Peace Child" grew in stature and went on to mediate the peace we all need with God through the cross. His birth was like D-Day- the initial beach head to rescue those who were his. So as you wonder about Christmas or celebrate it, may your understanding of its significance grow beyond the gifts,Santa,snowflakes, and egg nog; even beyond the rudimentary stable or shepherds.  May this season point you to Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection which crushed the head of the enemy.

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