For Isaiah, Christmas is all about one-world government:
“For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.”
How is this to happen? Not by conquest, but by making war irrelevant. War itself is overthrown. But how? Isaiah’s answer – people finally wake up and see the light:
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness–on them light has shined. You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire.”
Isaiah believed that the world could have a happy ending after all, simply as a result of everyone waking up and seeing the light. And I don’t believe that means everyone will convert to Christianity. It means everyone realizes that God already loves them; we don’t have a deity problem anymore. We never did. God is pro-Earth and all its inhabitants. Put it to rest. Forget about the verses that say people are God’s enemies. Re-interpret them. Look at them from a sociological perspective, or reject them outright but whatever you do, don’t believe them. Wake up and see the light, and let’s get governing.
All claims to greatness must pass the Psalm 126 test. There must be more than one witness. The other witness is the consensus of the rest of the planet. Do the Nations also agree that the Lord has done great things for us? If not, our greatness isn’t Psalm 126 greatness:
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream. 2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. 3 Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 4 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed.
With Psalm 126 greatness, us and them agree about what’s great. Since we all share the same round habitat, no one really wins unless everyone wins. That’s because winning at others’ expense is actually losing, kind of like winning a dart game on your own sheetrock. Instead, Psalm 126 pushes us to imagine a dreamlike scenario complete with eruptions of incredulous laughter and blurry-eyed shouts of joy, where the winnings spill over to everyone else.
It does seem like a dream considering the past and present. Now it seems the watercourses of the Negev are flowing with tears. But the exiles had their dream come true and it was a win/win with the known world.
I believe each generation is asked anew to dream of a future that acts more like an upward spiral for the known world than a pyramid scheme for kings. To make dreams come true in a Psalm 126 sort of way. Our Earth has certainly been sown with tears. When do we get to harvest the joy?
According to Mary the mother of Jesus, Christmas is all about public accountability, regime change and wealth redistribution. Here’s her practical application of the first Christmas:
“He has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.”
Mary, honestly, some would say that you are over politicizing Christmas and distracting from the true meaning. But for others, I believe your interpretation of Christmas can’t come soon enough. The proud continue to feverishly carve up the remaining resources in their hunger games while procuring tribute from the masses. Maniacal world leaders are still trying to win at the game of thrones while their people are just trying to make a living, or simply live. In their curious preoccupation with making sure no one has any more than they need, the conceited amass more money than most of us would know what to do with. A house of cards.
I believe we should listen more to our pregnant teenagers with their empire-shattering faith hope and love. I would feel much safer with them in charge.
Mary, your vision for the planet is exceedingly greater than ours. May it be magnified. May it be done as you say, and may all generations call you blessed.