disarming child

 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:
      disarmingly defenseless,
      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!
    Festival joy!
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,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    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.

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