There’s a restlessness in us that seems unquenchable We call it the desire to do better and achieve more We give our best in life to make it easier We kill ourselves with work to be able to rest one day
We hope that at one point our lives will be better Our achievements will be enviable and life enjoyable All our lives we live a frantic life hoping for stillness one day We are restlessly looking for rest before the grave steal us
Others have faced the ugly reality of life too early They were promised hardwork pays but it failed them Some gave up the restlessness and joined escapism They are lost in the imaginary world unable to face reality
Like children lost on the way we yearn for home We long for that day when peace and tranquility will abound We hope at least once there will be calmness in our lives Problem is when we get it we are too afraid to lose it
Will a day never come when we sleep like little children? Will a day come when our hearts find rest and calmness? Are we to go through this life restless for rest? Who will deliver us from this frantic exercise we call life?
But there’s a day of rest that comes our way For some it will be a great day of torture But for those who believe a day of calm A day to find eternal rest with our prince of peace
What a tragedy that some will live restless in this life And yet face worse in the world to come Friends, turn around, take a moment and look at him Listen for the offer he makes, accept the rest only he gives
Don’t go through life restless to the end In Jesus hands you’ll find rest and quietness All you have to do is listen and trust in him Come to him who longs to give you his eternal rest
We should watch the things that put us to tears The anticipation that gives us sleepless nights The dreams that catch us in broad daylight They are our greatest worries or treasures These indeed are our truest convictions
The headlines that captivate us the most The things we admire and get jealous over That which makes our knees to weaken They say a lot about what we value in life And our faith must start by captivating such
These are the songs we sing to our hearts The teachings that our minds attend Our hands cling to such than anything else But such treasures or idols must first bow Bow to the one who must own our hearts
Whatever holds our hearts owns our convictions In there belongs true love, beauty and treasure But also the idols of money, sex and power The things we want and what we fear most If Jesus be Lord of all he must conquer here
Lord help me to bow down my joys and fears To let you be my greatest love and treasure Help me to cast down my precious idols Own my fears and liberate me to serve you Be the Lord of my heart and with it everything
One of the fears we have as a people is to imagine that either our leaders don’t know our situation or they simply don’t care. It’s double tragedy to imagine they’d careless about our fate and instead only favour their peers. It’s painful, it makes us angry knowing we put them there but hopeless when we realize we can’t change things.
So when one finally walks down our path and says I know what you are facing that in itself is great news. It says they see our plight and all they need is to show they are genuine. To make us believe the era of the Messiah has come with them. That with them in office our pain will be a sad history. That finally something will change and however big or small a change we all want it.
To know we are known and someone cares is the greatest asset for a human heart. To know our leaders knows our plight and will do something about it sells us hope and what’s more precious than hope? But critics will ask, how many times have we had this narrative before? And what makes us think this time it will be any different? Was there a politician who didn’t seem to share our plight and promise change?
Now here is where things get tricky. You see a good portion of us will lean on hope no matter what history says. It’s the last coin in our pockets and we have to treasure it. If we lose it we’d have to kill ourselves. The instict of survival in us holds on to hope when everything else fails. And if the other side isn’t selling a better deal to us then we have no other choice.
Unfortunately if we looked back we’d know better and that more blown out promises have been made by many politicians before. That a man who wants an office and desperately so will say anything our ears want to hear. A man who wants a girl has no problem going down their knee. And our history is full of the promises of politicians both those in government and in opposition.
I’m not trying to use this post to discredit a certain party or favour another candidate. I don’t want to make us feel hopeless if anything I hold to hope like there’s nothing better. But I would always say be suspicious of politicians because in truth all of them actually do know our plight. Don’t be deceived they don’t know what’s happening perhaps they may not be as invested but they all know. They’ve got foot soldiers on the ground and honestly it doesn’t take a genius to know our suffering. You just need to turn on the news. The question is how genuine is their proposal?
Unfortunately I don’t trust the ruling class or even the opposition blindly because I wouldn’t trust any man blindly not even myself. I want to look back and see consistency of care and concern. I want to see there’s some shred of honesty in a manifesto not merely inflated promises. Sometimes I think going against the grain and playing the long game instead of blindly replacing the status quo might be the key to change.
But there’s always a risk in politics that any one leader however well measured will ultimately fail us. Power has a way to blind and change people and man is not that trustworthy either. In the end we need more than someone who seems to identify with us and appears genuine. We need someone without the disease of all men that in the end cares for their own welfare. Here’s where democracy fails us because we need more than one of us for a better leader.
It’s the one who came down to face our plight with us that can truly say they know us. But it’s the one who is unlike us in our selfishness who can actually help us. One who sees our plight, puts down his pride and washes our feet. We need one like us but better than us. One who sympathises with our weaknesses but can truly help us. One who’s proved genuine and trustworthy.
Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll find him in the next election but it means our future is guaranteed either way. It means we can still lean on hope though our choices down here are likely to fail us. We have true hope in him not in the lies from every election year. In him there’s no risk of corrupting power. We have hope in one who walked the earth and rose to rule in the heavens. One who truly saw and acted for the plight of the oppressed and is concerned with the least of us. We have Jesus who is God and man, a leader we can truly trust in. He says,
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
Many stories hail the stable boy who becomes a master and marries the princess, rising from ashes to dine with kings. It works for poor boys and girls working hard in school to dream and for those climbing the corporate ladder to beat all odds. It says the sky is the limit, every dream is valid, dare to dream and no man is limited. It’s exactly the kind of story that make great motivational speaking and draw flock all over the place. Story of the unlikely employee become boss.
Sometimes you have stories of admirable bosses who relate well with employees. Bosses and rulers who are kind and humane who listen to their subjects. And we all think if only all leaders were like that. Not proud and selfish but down to earth and approachable. First story speaks of power being attainable even by the least of us and second of it being shared or at least bringing us closer.
But the story of Christmas is one of a master come down to be one with his subjects. Not a phoenix who rises from the ashes but a prince who leaves his throne to know and save his subjects. While his people could only dream of ever living with him he comes down to be one of them in their weakness and limitation. He doesn’t lose his identity or authority but that doesn’t bar him from experiencing life with them as a common man.
He’s born through the pain of labour like any of us though by a virgin. He goes to school and causes a scare to his parents as he schools his teachers. He’s no ordinary child, God is born as a man in him. But he also experiences pain, grief, hunger, love and loss like any of us. He feels pain when injured and suffers alongside his friends.
But what makes this a great story is that he not only becomes one of us as a friend but his humanity, suffering and death was for our sake. He became one of us to save us from our mortal weakness and make us one with him if only we receive and believe in him. He left his throne so that by faith in him we might one day reign with him. But not all received him.
John the apostle tells us:
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
He was born like us so that those who receive him by faith will one day be born of him and be with him. He came down to us so that through him we might go up with him.
He was born in human weakness like common man so that we would be born in glory through his Spirit by faith in him. He showed us the way up isn’t by working really hard to climb the ladder. It was by him coming down to pick us up. The prince became a friend and more than a friend one who saves his own friends.
In Jesus we find the kind of friend we all desire. One who lays down his own life for us. But more than a friend we find a Saviour. The prince of peace come to dwell with man and save him from slavery to sin, this broken world and it’s harsh ruler the devil.
John continues saying:
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
He came that first Christmas and died on the cross to save his people, those who believe in him from their sins, see Matthew 1:21. And he will come again to bring us all who believe into his heavenly home. If only we would listen to him and obey his command!
Christmas my friends is more than an end of year holiday. It’s more than rest, family and being kind to strangers, it’s about the Lord who became a friend that by faith in him we would be saved.
Saved from ourselves, from the circle of life every year with sin and corruption, saved from poor leadership, pain and death. Christmas speaks of a child king who became one of us so that by faith in him we might become one with him. He was born a son of man that we would become sons of God. Born to earth that we might be born in heaven through faith in him. This is my hope and joy this Christmas. What is yours?
Do you want to just go round the sun again facing the same challenges of your sin and this world, complaining and dying in desperation? You could try hope in your self drive and ambition but we know that is limited. You might wish things will become better next year but we’ve been there before. Or you could surrender yourself to this child who became the king of the world to obey him as your Lord and Saviour. To be saved from your sins and live the rest of your life with the hope of eternal life.
My prayer is you’ll choose the latter so that like us who believe you’ll live and face next year with the hope of eternal life. Let me know if you want to talk more about this friend and king and the hope he gives us who believe. To know him as your Lord and Saviour and live with the sure hope of eternal heavenly life with him. He was born on earth so that by believing in him you might be born in heaven.