Meditation: What do You Want for Christmas?
Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. Isaiah 7:15
If there is only one gift under the tree in humanity’s living room what do we hope it is? We dream and pray and work for peace. In fantasies we envision a “savior” who will set things right. We dream that a brave political person will tell the truth. We hope that powerful religious leaders speak out boldly against war and hold people accountable. We seek out prophets who can encourage a huge ground swell of public opinion to change the will of the president. Perhaps in those moments of deepest despair and hopelessness for relief of the suffering of others we fantasize about help from another galaxy or pray for the rapture. Many of us, as children in the family of humanity, are anticipating change and have hope for the world.
As Children of God we share the hope of a land flowing with curds and honey for all of God's children. When Caesar Augustus was actively expanding the Roman Empire during the first Christmas, humanity’s children were hoping for a savior too. The empire was expanding at a rapid rate and the concentration of power was now held firmly by Caesar. Local governments were dictated by him. People were being identified, counted, and controlled. Quirnius was conducting the census. Historians suggest that the registration in Bethlehem to which Mary and Joseph were complying had multiple purposes including; taxation, military service (Jews were exempt) and special government “ballots.”
The empire required a lot of organization and control of the people. There was a unified currency and extensive highways connecting Rome to far away places. Global free trade was the prize. There was a postal system, bridges, aqueducts and extravagant government buildings. It was a new world order. History has shown us that with Empire comes conquest, oppression, possession, and loss of individual human rights. As worldly principalities expand the powers become more concentrated and Godly human ethics are trampled underfoot.
National ID’s and special passports with implanted micro chips are in the works. Selective service registration keeps the information of eligible young people within easy reach for the reinstatement of mandatory military service. Free trade is changing local economies and traditional spiritual and religious beliefs are being replaced with nationalistically advantageous dogma. The Empire casts a long shadow on the world as land is invaded and conquered and massive embassies are erected to assure dominance and control of natural resources. Innocent people are being killed and cast out as refugees as powers and principalities expand.
We know well the atmosphere into which Jesus “our savior” was born. The children in the living room of humanity anticipate the revelation of the Presence -the Savior who knows goodness and has tasted milk and honey.
Prayer: All wise parent of humanity we anticipate with hopeful joy a new revelation of your milk and honey goodness to the world. We pray that we, your children, will rise early this Christmas to reveal to the world your Presence. -Amen
Action: Reflect on the events in the world today and the promise of Christ for humanity as you enjoy the pleasures of milk and honey with your families. In moments of spiritual reflection ask the following questions:
How far will I follow worldly Empire?
Is there anything I would refuse my earthly government?
What price am I willing to pay for love?
Read the follow up to this meditation next week: What did we get for Christmas?