As I reflect on the close of one year and the promise of another, the time of Advent, which prepares us for the celebration of the incarnation, is always one of deep and joy-filled reflection and gratitude.
In the midst of great global turmoil and injustice there are those who are nonetheless confronting the disorder and violence of poverty and all manner of injustice according to the principles of shalom. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, we are reminded of the centrality of justice as both integral to and testimony of a salvation story of cosmic proportions!
Isaiah 56:1 Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
The Christ-King was undoubtedly a historical disappointment to some for not being a warrior-king of the order of the Goliath-slaying King David (from whose throne he was prophesied to rule in Isaiah 9), nor a wise and shrewd politician-King who courted lucrative and strategic alliances like King Solomon. But there were those, who listened to his vision for realising a New World Order-The Way- whose “eyes were opened” to the revelation of inclusion and solidarity in the midst of the injustice, the hopelessness and the oppressions of their time. There was also realisation, for those who followed the Christ-King to the foot of the cursed and despised Roman cross, that to encounter and confront the Powers (of control and domination) with truth would likely lead to an ignominious death.
There are many this year who have not only faced the threat of death but have died in pursuit of justice and freedom and peace, there are many more who have died this year because others have not had the vision to pursue justice in all its dimensions on their behalf.
At the heart of the Christian gospel is the promise of life and life in all its fullness-on earth as it is in heaven.