To understate the obvious, it’s been a helluva year… and much of it’s been bad. That doesn’t mean we can’t still have hope.
A virus has brought out the worst of us, turned us against each other, destroyed businesses and livelihoods — and of course lives.
Political upheaval has burned neighborhoods to the ground, sowed distrust, and created turmoil that could take decades to fully recover from… if full recovery is ever made.
People are pouring out of major cities, bringing their ruinous ideologies with them.
A corrupt media and tech tyrants have politically tag-teamed their way to — perhaps — putting their candidate into office despite the will of an informed public, rather than because of it.
We may be looking at a situation where corrupt double-dealing is being rewarded.
So, now what?
What possible good news can even the cheer of Christmas offer?
Simple — the Christmas story itself.
Unlike the secular left, we cherish our political ideals, but we do not worship them. Our political ideals are founded in something greater, something transcendent, something eternal.
Our political ideals — as we explicitly acknowledge about our rights themselves — are drawn from what we know about a higher reality and truth. They are rooted and grounded in our Creator.
Look back at the context of that first Christmas. To the ordinary Jew living in 1st Century Israel, it must have seemed like the wheels had completely fallen off the Divine Plan.
Israel wasn’t a free nation. It was under the rule of a foreign, pagan power, and a collaborator client king.
That client king wasn’t even Jewish, let alone of the royal Davidic line. The empire he was loyal to was brazenly pagan and ruled them with a heavy hand.
Roman rule was anything but benevolent… just look at the slaughter of the innocents when Herod found out that a descendant from the true royal line had shown up on the scene to challenge his authority.
Jesus was born to parents living in a part of the nation so NOT known for its significance and piety that Nathan asked whether anything good could come out of Nazareth.
But as bad as their situation looked, we are reminded that there is a Hand at work far greater even than the mighty Roman army.
It was because of the decree of a pagan Emporer — Caesar Augustus — that an obscure man and his young, pregnant fiancee traveled to that nondescript stable in Bethlehem.
But why did he give that decree?
Augustus, leader of the known world, hadn’t the foggiest idea that, in making his decree, he was playing a cameo role in a far greater drama that had been foretold centuries before.
A role in the birth of a ruler of a kingdom not made with human hands… the one revealed in a dream God gave the leader of a previous empire that had long since faded away.
However crazy things may seem to believers here and now, they aren’t even close to how things were back in the 1st century, or like things were when Babylon had led Israel captive, or when Pharoah held Israel in captivity and began drowning their sons in the Nile.
However bass-ackward things may seem here and now, there is still a God in Heaven.
And remember the words of the apostle Paul in the closing lines of his letter to the Romans — the God of Peace will soon crush Satan underneath your feet.
Whatever goes right — or wrong — politically, our hope is set somewhere higher.
In Doug Giles’ latest book, Biblical Badasses: The Women, Giles spotlights ten epic ladies who did awesome things for God with the odds severely stacked against them. These girls weren’t your typical church ladies. They were holy movers and shakers who upset hell with their God-honoring, faith-filled, lives. Giles’ unique take on these terrific women makes the scripture come alive. This book is real, raw, relevant, and irreverent. Giles’ prayer is that after reading, Biblical Badasses: The Women, not only will your noggin be filled with these amazing tales of high and lows from real women who rocked in a hard place, via the power of God, but that you will get off your butt, quit pursuing stupidity, start chasing down your high calling and at the end of your life, you too, like the holy femme fatales featured herein, will have left a massive scar on Satan’s haggard backside.
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