“…and the government shall be upon his shoulder…”
Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
What with the confusion that Europe is in, and the various troubled spots around the world, I am often tempted to say, “Don’t panic!”.
“Don’t panic!” is a catchphrase from the UK TV series, ‘Dad’s Army.’ It was used by Lance Corporal Jones, played by actor Clive Dunn.
But, should we panic? After two world wars and other recent conflicts, our planet is not the safe haven that it ought to be by now. Humanity just seems to keep repeating its self-destructive mistakes. The problem is that our governments, despite well stated intentions and promises, are conducted with the same old agendas of power and politics. Lawrence of Arabia wrote of the Allied victory in 1918: “Yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to remake it in the likeness of the former world they knew.” We seem to go round in circles in our search for perpetual peace.
There is some optimism that we are all building a better future. Of course we all desire that but, to quote another of Corporal Jones’ phrases, “permission to speak, please?” Unless we change who we are and what motivates us, what hope do we really have?
This is where Jesus comes in. As we participate in who he is, he changes us. His is not just a cosmetic change or a declaration of intent, rather it is a personal, individual transformation offered to men and women everywhere. Jesus is one who is coming, on whose shoulders will rest an endless government of peace. It is Jesus who is the Prince of Peace. Jesus came to us and continues to come to us through those who have accepted his grace. It is Jesus who is the only hope for this hopeless world.
So, “Don’t panic!”: Jesus is here and he is coming again.
Help us not to panic, Father in Heaven, when we see wars and disasters around us. Thank you for the hope we have in you as we anticipate your coming to establish a perfect government of peace.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This week James is speaking at our Lewes and Godalming congregations. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.