We are nearing Advent. One of the most memorable activities of Advent through my early years as a Christian was to either listen to or participate in singing Handel’s “Messiah.” It is richly steeped in the coming advent of the King and the assumption of His salvific work. Isaiah offers the greatest Scriptural text. The first verses from Isaiah that I memorized where associated with singing the Messiah.
Isaiah 9 tells of the Messiah coming from unlikely Galilee. It starts with the place, moves on two what would be accomplished (verses 1-5). The child grows and not only he but his reigning influence- “the government will be upon his shoulders”. That is immediately followed by the glorious names and titles that demonstrate the authority from which he leads: “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” After this telling posture from which his government is built and the names ascribed to him is the prophetically realized statement that “of the increase of his government and peace, there will be no end.” So, the foundation of his authority (government) and reign is as comprehensive (verse 6) as is its endless (verse 7).
Now that is a government of the ages- actually transcending the ages. It is based on absolute authority and control, a person with nothing but the best intentions and the guarantee that it will only increase and get better- in chart-speak, flawless and eternally up and to the right. Until then, we will have these lesser governments that have limited control, leaders with mixed intentions and a guarantee of ebbs and flows with a threat of cessation in short order. There is no wonder that we need to pray for these kingdoms. They are fragile, not always helpful and tend to serve poorly. So, pray we must. Love we must. Help we must.
The good news is that we always glory in the greater while we are sighing and praying over the lesser. I can testify personally that the increase of his reign over me and peace inside of me never does end. If only this world’s governments could latch onto him and enjoy that.