I'm not sure how long it's been since you've seen a Donald Duck movie starring his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, but it's the best example I can give you of what it's like to live with three little boys. Last week we decided to let our little guys help us as we decorated our Christmas tree.
We were fairly confident we would lose some ornaments in the process, but we went ahead with the plan. Each ornament they hung was hanging on for dear life, usually by the smallest needle of a not so carefully chosen branch. As we neared the end of the decorating the damage was fairly minimal. Following the return of our vacuum cleaner to the closet after sweeping up some broken glass it was my turn to hang the baby Jesus ornament in the traditional, top part of the tree.
Standing a little too far away from the tree while stretching over three little boys isn't the best way to hang the most important ornament. I dropped the baby in the manger and he tumbled down the tree like a Plinko disc on The Price is Right. Each shift in direction took out an ornament the boys had hung. After the final crash, Donald Duck lay on the floor with a broken arm and Joshua's first Christmas ornament was broken in two. One of my kids cried while the other two told me, in great detail, about my mistake.
My mind went immediately to Isaiah 9:6.
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.
God's good news for this broken world is not that we have to carry its weight on our shoulders, but thankfully, that there is a mighty Savior who is not only able to deliver us, but willing to do so. I was convicted when I thought of how many times I have tried to carry Jesus and his kingdom on my own shoulders. I thought of how many times I've dropped him in the process, usually leaving more substantial casualties than a broken Donald Duck or snowman Christmas ornament.
The good news of the kingdom is that there is a God who is far too big to be carried around and hung on a tree. He is the one whose Word created this world and can calm a raging sea. The good news is also that the King left his rightful throne to become small enough to carry around and to give his life as a ransom while being hung on a tree.
The kingdom is coming, but not in our strength.
The Good Shepherd King Jesus is slowly and patiently preparing an eternal reign of peace upon this recreated and restored earth. It is so tempting to think we need to carry him along and help him with the building plan, but that's never the way he demonstrates his power or rule. Our calling is to gently and patiently proclaim the same message he was born to carry thousands of years ago. There is a God who is mighty to save who has come to rescue. There is a Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace who is carrying this world on his shoulders. There is one to whom we can go to for our tired and weary souls.
We are invited to go to him today, to let him carry this world upon his faithful shoulders, and to live in the freedom of his peace.