‘Unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders’ – Isaiah 9:6
God’s answer to the arrogance of the world is a Child, His own Son. This Child will be what Judah’s human kings, or other forms of government – parliamentary constitutional monarchies, absolute monarchies, military dictators, semi-presidential republics, parliamentary republics, one-party states have not been. The government of Jesus especially in time of great darkness and pandemic is beyond the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally, a state consisting of legislative, executive, and judiciary. The government of Jesus is the government of the Mighty God, all-powerful God, and Counsellor (all-loving). This message of hope fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His eternal kingdom is to deliver all people, especially the leadership of the prevalent forms of government namely: ‘monarchy, aristocracy, timocracy, democracy, theocracy, and tyranny’ from their slavery to sin. Pride made the Israel think it would recover and rebuild in its own strength. God made Israel a nation like any other nations today and gave them the land they occupied, the people put their trust in themselves rather than in Him. Today, many nations, individuals, and even churches take pride in our accomplishments, trying to make ourselves great again, forgetting that it is God who has given us every resource and ability we have. God is not please with any pride or trust in ourselves or over 200 independent national governments/organisations because it cuts off our contact with him.
Any nation, church or government either through electoral contest and hereditary succession that cut off contact with God and His Word is bound to fail. The greatest need for the human government of the world and even the church, more obviously than ever in our lifetimes, ‘is someone to shoulder the burden, someone who can get under pick up our multiple problems and carry them for us.’ The ONLY person is Jesus Christ hence, in a Caesar-shaped world, power must change hands to overcome the sin of leadership that mistaking giftedness for spiritual or political maturity and discipline. Giftedness is not maturity or spirituality because ‘giftedness alone without spiritual maturity can oftentimes do more long-term damage to a ministry after short-terms “gains” fade away.’
Power must change hands to overcome another sin of leadership, that is the sin that ‘mistaking fruitfulness for holiness,’ or development. It is very sad and very deceiving as, ‘we can often become easily enamoured with the shininess and abundance of “fruit.” “Successful” ministry is not measured by numeric indicators. When Christ addresses the seven churches in Revelation, does he commend the larger churches and rebuke the smaller? Does he compare growth rates and highlight numbers? No. Instead, he hits at the heart of character, faith, endurance, compromise, idolatry, and immorality.’
In our global despair coupled with the problem of pandemic, we fear that our sorrows, lockdown, isolations, ‘zoomission, zooministry,’ and tiers-shaped lifestyle will never end. Christmas message is about the Good News that human powers behind the world’s divisions and forms of government must change hands and take rest and comfort by following the Lord, the Messiah wholeheartedly like Judah in other to lead and guide us safely through our troubles and trials. The Good News of the Gospel for Christmas is about power must change hands, the government, the reign, the authority of the world ‘shall be upon’ Jesus’ shoulders ‘through the healing and renewal of human beings, calling them as he called his first followers to the dangerous, difficult but glorious task of working as his agents, growing the kingdom as we say, making it happen for real people in the real world.’
Christmas message, power must change hands challenges the world’s government and leadership walking in darkness of greed, immorality, corruption and self-centredness to repent and change in other to see and follow the Great power of Jesus, the Messiah as the Light of the world. The prophecy about the Messiah as the Prince of Peace defines His government as one of justice and peace. The Messiah as Counsellor defines His government as the one that gives the right advice. The description of Messiah as Wonderful defines His government as exceptional, distinguished and without peer. The Messiah as the Everlasting Father reminds of a timeless government.
The whole world is hungry for hope, peace, joy, love and purity just as United State of America (USA) is hungry for a change with the election of the President –elect, Mr Joe Biden. Sadly, Biden is human and except the Lord the lead and build the house, they that lead or labour, they labour and lead in vain. The government of USA talk less of the the government of the world cannot be upon his shoulder. No leader can solve the problem alone without God’s factor. Bishop N.T Wright said, “No ordinary mortal can bear that burden.” The irrational joy and hope that follows the elections of human government ‘only shows the extent to which other hopes (peace, joy, love, purity) have failed, making us snatch too eagerly at sudden fresh signs.’
For us not to forget the Christmas message, human government and power must change hands. Enough of placing ‘too much trust in our politicians because we place too little trust in God, and in the self-revelation of the living God in the child who is born to us. And when our politicians let us down, all we can think of is . . . how to find another politician, who will get it right this time. That’s like the non-solution to the present economic crisis…And that applies just as much globally as it does locally.’ Power must change hands because Jesus’s way of establishing God’s justice and peace on the earth was different to Caesar’s, different to the usual power games and money games, different in source, different in method, different in effect.’
Power must change hands because there is hunger of hope, hunger for peace, hunger for joy, hunger for love, and hunger for purity. Power must change hands in other to break ‘the yoke of their burden, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.’ The poor are suffering ‘in wars they neither started nor wanted.’ Power must change hands as response to the Christmas message for a different kind of world, church, and leadership. Power must change hands because, ‘Christmas is all about the coming of the world’s true king, the one who stops wars, who forgives debts, who establishes true justice and judgment in the earth.’