* This post is part of an Advent devotional, being posted daily during Advent 2014. For an intro to this series of posts, please read the initial post here.
Saturday: 13 December
Read: Isaiah 42:1-9
(Light two candles)
There are many things we seek to establish. On a playful side, we establish house rules and ground rules before starting games in order to avoid potential conflict. More significantly, most of us seek to establish a positive reputation and a good name for ourselves. Athletes seek to establish personal bests and world records. As a society we want to establish a rule of law, schools and foundations, churches and institutions. We strive to establish ourselves in a profession, to establish safe neighborhoods, and to establish a better life for our kids.
Establishing anything of substance requires endurance, dedication, and sacrifice. In this passage we hear that God establishes justice. Justice is a long and costly road. There is no justice apart from confronting systems and structures that perpetuate inequalities. It gets involved in stopping abuse and neglect. Justice equips people to unlearn their internalized roles of power and powerlessness. In its fullest expression, justice undoes the tangled messes created by injustice and establishes peace.
For both justice and peace, stopping injustice is merely the first step on a long road toward establishing a kingdom where each person contributes to the full flourishing of the rest of creation. God’s sure promise here is that Jesus “will not falter or be discouraged” but will walk the long road of establishing justice on the earth. In the Advent Season, we take comfort because even now Jesus is at work making all things new and soon he will establish his peaceable kingdom in a fullness that we have yet to imagine.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, that the light of your life may bring the unshakeable peace that causes all of creation to flourish! Amen.