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 -
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.