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power’s proper purposes

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them the light has shined. ...... For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end ......                  Isaiah 9: 2, 6, 7   [BC 732, Jerusalem]

 

Even in our tiny island struggles typify this year. In politics, there are massive struggles, sometimes between one States Member and all the others (simultaneously vice versa) - at other times between the Council of Ministers and Scrutiny (plus vice versa). Power struggles - using persuasion and alliances.  

And of course it's right to remember that the Council of Ministers is in a power struggle with the UK, the EU, the OECD and the IMF as well....... And that those bodies, comprised of humans, are terrifyingly inconsistent in their words and behaviour. Power struggles - unfairly fought.

In the work place, struggles about ownership have seen C I Traders succumb to an offer-that-can't-be-refused and Normans to an offer from a French Group - as well as ABN AMRO to Royal Bank of Scotland’s blandishments. Power struggles - using money and resources - affecting lives in Jersey.

And work-place power struggles between employer and employee, between bosses themselves, and between workers. Power exploiting weakness and displaying skill and cunning.

In the family, husband/wife struggles have also continued - as well as parent/child struggles. And child/child struggles abound too, especially over assets after parents die. Even more, for the unmarried struggles abound in their relationships - and include struggles to try to forget the passing of years and of opportunities for security and happiness. Power struggles - using personal pressures of all kinds.

Frank Sinatra makes it very clear - his famous song irretrievably links the available power tools with his one single motivation behind the use of those tools: I did it my way.  The My in my struggles is paramount, there can be no greater purpose than Me and My purposes, my business, my company, my work. 

But Isaiah (see above), back there in BC 732, identified the promise of a vastly different use of power. This power – the power beyond all powers of the Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace - was to be used to become a child, to carry the burden of (apparently) having been conceived illegitimately, to first see the light of day amongst the excrement of a stable, to flee to a foreign country for asylum from the infanticide of a powerful king, to be brought up in that pits of a town called Nazareth, to be convicted by the highest court in the land of criminal offences worthy of death, to be executed for them.   To us a son is given.

This vastly different use of power was not for the Me of Almighty God - it was for the people who walked in darkness (see above). For those who actually found themselves walking through the year in a land of struggles - a land of deep darkness. The purpose of power was to bless others. 

Others who were losing the struggles of life? Yes. But also others who were winning those struggles but finding them to be Pyrrhic victories (Pyrrhus won a battle against Rome in BC 279 but suffered more casualties than Rome). 

The proper purpose of the power of this child, Jesus (his name means 'Almighty God is salvation'), is an unending increase in his kind of government - a government of peace, of self-giving, without the struggles whose purpose is Me and My

For this Jesus came, as promised in BC 732 by Isaiah - to give his life as the price that would ransom many from all evils within their struggles, whether those led to defeat or to Pyrrhic victory.

 
‘Regrets, I've had a few - But then again, too few to mention - I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption - I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway - And more, much more than this, I did it my way...(Frank Sinatra lyrics, 1968)
 
‘... the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.' Jesus Christ AD 33
 
Richard Syvret

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