As we Christians celebrate the significance of the incarnation – Jesus’ birth, God with us – I wanted to pass along Christmas greetings and cheer on behalf of TilledSoil.
And the government will be on his shoulders…
This Christmas season, I’ve been too preoccupied with personal and worldly affairs to really feel prepared. In part, the chaos and lunacy of world events, political races, and seeming complete loss of rational thought in the surrounding world, have been a distraction, to say the least.
Sometimes, we catch something we need, just at the right time. I was listening to a podcast the other day, when Isaiah 9:6 was mentioned. Most of us know this verse by heart:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (KJV)
I’ve heard this verse hundreds of times. What gave me pause this time was the phrase, “and the government shall be upon his shoulder.” The speaker on the podcast mentioned this verse in regard to Jesus’ authority over the world, and the coming Kingdom of God.
You see, for some odd reason, I had heard that phrase more in terms of Jesus being under the weight and persecution of government and religious officials during his earthly ministry. I don’t know where that came from, but it made sense in light of what Jesus faced in opposition. I had never done an actual study on that verse, and somehow that was stuck in my mind. The problem is, that’s not a very good interpretation! And worse, it misses the comfort we need this time of the year in the midst of a crazy world.
It’s always a good practice (especially for people who aren’t proficient in the original languages) to take a look at a few different translations.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV)
For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NET)
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. (The Message)
Ahh, now it is starting to make more sense.
Spoiler alert… Jesus reigns
This passage is telling us something more along the lines of the spoiler in Revelation; Jesus wins in the end. He has ushered a new governance into the universe, His governance! In ancient times, while governing was seen as a burden, to be borne on one’s shoulders, there were also signs and symbols of the ruling authority worn on the shoulders. This is actually a phrase alerting us that the coming Messiah would also be King.
It is too easy to forget this aspect of the babe in the manger, especially when life seems chaotic. While earthly kingdoms and governments will come and go, Jesus is in charge, always and forever!
I hope this helps you find comfort this Christmas season, no matter what is going on in your personal life or the world around you. It has for me. (Now, I’m going to crawl under some exegetical rock out of embarrassment for not picking up on that all these years!) 🙂
A look toward the New Year
As you may have noticed, things have been a bit quiet around TilledSoil.org lately. I’ve been preoccupied with things like… trying to make a living.
I’ve been greatly missing my absence, too. Working in Christian apologetics is good for my soul. I have tons of article ideas, a stack of books to review, and if that isn’t enough, I’m going to try very hard to launch a Christian apologetics podcast early-to-mid 2016. I’d also love to finish a curriculum I started a few years ago. That latter one is probably a bit too ambitious for 2016, but I can dream, can’t I?
The website will be getting a makeover with a new theme which is much more capable for future plans (and will better support a podcast). It should make publishing new content easier and more fun, which should help the goal of producing content on a more consistent basis.
Which brings me to…
An appeal for support
I’d love to have a lot more time to create content for TilledSoil. Up until now, I’ve done most of what you see here (as well as a lot you don’t see here) out of love for Christian apologetics, and to play my part in Christian evangelism.
But, realities of life have forced me to put less and less time into this ministry, and more into things that make a living. We can tilt that balance back in this direction, but I need your help!
To that end, I have set up a Patreon account and page to raise funds to keep this ministry going… and hopefully growing! I’d love to put much more of my time, if not all, into this effort. Ultimately, I’d like to be able to replicate the local aspect of the model, and establish trained Christian apologists in various geographical areas to support local churches. That’s my dream, but I can’t do it alone.
Patreon is a service that makes it easy for patrons to pay each time content is produced, or setup a monthly subscription. I’m asking for monthly support at this point, though Patreon will allow for a lot of fund-raising flexibility as we grow. And, you can start with as low as $1/month or as much as you like.
I’ve heard you don’t get, if you don’t ask… so I’m asking. Just click the Patreon logo below. Thank you in advance!
Note: If you would rather make a one-time donation, please contact us, but consistent monthly support is preferred, as it gives us a better measure of where we’re at. We also currently do not have non-profit or charity status, so any donations, while greatly appreciated, will not be tax deductible.(1)Gaining such status is expensive, complex, and time-consuming. We welcome input, but we’re also not sure such status won’t be a burden in the coming years, given the direction of our … Continue reading