Tradition can be a good thing. I’m making it a tradition to post this Isaiah passage (which is a reading for Christmas Eve worship every year), and to post the world’s best – and most challenging – Christmas song. I’m also making it a tradition to change the second song every year. You’re welcome. 😉
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…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.
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.
That middle line, “all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned” stands out to me. It’s so stark. Hearing that makes me think of this:
(Trigger warning: some images involves children, many are difficult to watch.)
The war in Iraq is over and the one in Afghanistan may end within a year. But other wars continue, many of which are undeclared wars. The Prince of Peace wants all of them to end. To worship the babe born in Bethlehem means facing reality, means seeking to end war. But following God in the way of Jesus also means we don’t believe in hopeless! It means we’ve got some work to do.
Yet, I don’t want to be too grim today. So here’s the fun Christmas song of the year. I defy you to keep still while listening to this song. Dance already! After all, it’s the birth of the Lord of the Dance that we’re celebrating.
Happy Christmas from the Buerstetta’s to you. May you be a blessing to someone in need today.