Adoration of the Child by Gerard van Honthorst, c.1620
People of the world walk in darkness.
The struggle for power
ruins the weak
enriches the wealthy
and gives power to the powerful.
We need to see the great light
the light that shines in all its brightness.
Your kingdom of peace comes through a child,
and liberation is bestowed on people
who become as children:
disarming through their defenselessness,
and making others defenseless
because they themselves are so disarming.
The birth of this child opens for us the future
of a life in peace that is different from all life before,
since that life was bound up with death.
This child is Jesus Christ,
the child in the manger,
the preacher on the mount,
the tormented man on the cross,
the risen liberator.
Help us to follow this child even today
making visible something of this peace
that he will complete.
Help us to share in the new creation
born again to a living hope
and live as new men and women.
Jürgen Moltmann,1926-, German Reformed Theologian
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence!
The joy of a great celebration,
sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
will do all this.