Isaiah 9:6 – 7 –

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

The following meditation is from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  It was written during World War II, and is titled: The Great Kingdom of Peace Has Begun.

“The authority of this poor child will grow (Isa. 9:7).  It will encompass all the earth, and knowingly or unknowingly, all human generations until the end of the ages will have to serve it.  It will be an authority over the hearts of people, but thrones and great kingdoms will also grow strong or fall apart with this power.  The mysterious, invisible authority of the divine child over human hearts is more solidly grounded than the visible and resplendent power of earthly rulers.  Ultimately all authority on earth must serve only the authority of Jesus Christ over humankind.

With the birth of Jesus, the great kingdom of peace has begun.  Is it not a miracle that where Jesus has really become Lord over people, peace reigns?  That there is one Christendom on the whole earth, in which there is peace in the midst of the world?  Only where Jesus is not allowed to reign – where human stubbornness, defiance, hate, and avarice are allowed to live on unbroken – can there be no peace.  Jesus does not want to set up his kingdom of peace by force, but where people willingly submit themselves to him and let him rule over them, he will give them his wonderful peace.”