Sunday, December 03, 2017

Advent 1: The peace-bond

I think sometimes we forget, those of us who live in "melting-pot" countries, how much of human history has been lived in tension with people of different nations, where different bloodlines and different tribes meant the risk of war, where the enmity ran in the blood and was part of the cultural heritage. The ancients had a way of creating peace, of cementing a bond between two nations: to join the bloodlines. And in our melting-pot age, we generally only notice negative things about these alliance-marriages. But if we can drop our modern arrogance towards earlier cultures, we can see how an arranged marriage looks through their eyes:
                           ... The highly-famed queen,
Peace-tie of peoples, oft passed through the building,
Cheered the young troopers; she oft tendered a hero
A beautiful ring-band, ere she went to her sitting.
Beowulf, XXIX: 54-57
The woman became both queen and ambassador. And her child changed the relations further: the future king of the tribe had the blood of both nations. No warrior of either people could take up arms against the other without turning against their own.

In creating peace between God and man, Jesus is that child. He is the Word of God, revered by the angels, and the Son of Man. The ancients might see him differently, the mediator between God and man: The powers of heaven would not turn against man, because man includes one of God's own. The people of earth who acknowledge Jesus can no longer turn against God, for Jesus' sake. To turn against God becomes a form of self-betrayal now, because Christ is also one of our own.
For unto us a son is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder. His name will be called: Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


Martin LaBar said...

Thanks for the reminder.

Weekend Fisher said...

Thanks for reading.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF