Monday, December 24, 2012

The Prince of Peace

Jews will often tell you Jesus cannot have been the Messiah, because He did not fulfill the biblical prophecies that Messiah would usher in an  everlasting kingdom with world peace forever.

The question to ask, I think, is what sort of kingdom is everlasting?  Could any political one ever be?  Really?

And just how shall the Messiah bring about peace?  Is it to be a peace in which the opposition is ground under the boot?  Could that be the same Messiah Who "shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young"  (Is. 40:11)?

If it isn't to be peace enforced by tanks and atomic weapons, then will it not require that the human race cooperate with it of their own free will?  Will it not require peace first of all in our hearts?

So it should be easy to see that the Peaceable Kingdom has to be something spiritual before it can also become tangible.  Messiah indeed came to us and established that never-ending Kingdom in our midst.  "My Kingdom is not of this world," He taught.  But yes, it is already here and we can realize it, make it visible, in the world.  We just have to live it.

That schmatzy song I always disliked is nevertheless true:  "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."  Or rather, let it continue with me, as it began with the manger Child. 

Peace on earth, goodwill to men!  Merry Christmas!