“Of the increase of His government...there will be no end.” – Isaiah 9:7a
We associate Christmas with wrapped gifts and angels and snowy-day coziness.
Not generally with government.
Government is a non-merry term to us. Governments seem impersonal and corruptible. They’re not cheery; they’re daunting.
But there’s the word, in probably the most famous prophetic Christmas passage. It’s there twice, actually, if you back up to Isaiah 9, verse 6.
The Scripture puts government and Christmas in the same sentence.
And this is Good News.
Because Christmas is when God’s government came to Earth.
The shepherds gathering in the Bethlehem stable were witnessing the inauguration of the King of the universe. And all other powers will submit to this Ruler. Christmas is not just a nice greeting card scene; it’s a government takeover.
Why do you think King Herod ordered Jesus' death when He was just a small child?
Why did the religious authorities try to stone Him for His teachings and miracles?
Or why did the Roman Empire approve His execution?
Because Jesus was the newborn King, coming to earth with a government. His unstoppable Kingdom had arrived.
The Good News is, it is a good Kingdom.
God’s government is atypical, to say the least. It’s a government with a King who comes near to us. He is personal, and He speaks unlimited grace. This King is humble. He stoops to heal and love and serve His people. He dies for sinners and extends forgiveness. He is a rescuing King.
It’s a government from which peace and kindness and truth flourish. It’s a Kingdom through which all things are being made new.
Some day, this government of Jesus will be fully and finally founded on a new Earth. God’s people will live under His good reign for all of time.
But it’s also a present government. A right-now government. A kingdom that God has established in the hearts of those He saves. A government operating in you and me! We celebrate Christmas in part because when Jesus arrived, so did His government.
So, yes, we worship Christ the newborn King this season. And we also submit to Him. We listen to Him. We trust Him. We follow Him. We are citizens of His good Kingdom today.
The ever-increasing, never-ending government of Jesus has come! Merry Christmas!