Isaiah’s vision has yet to be realized even if you believe the great light was Jesus Christ. The boots of the trampling warriors have not been burned and their garments continue to be rolled in the blood of the innocent desperately trying to escape Aleppo. It would seem the deep darkness continues to grow while the light of justice is continually being extinguished. But that is the way of this world where the weak are marginalized if not outright murdered and only the ruthlessly strong seem to survive. The trouble of our time, and maybe every time, is that the vision of Isaiah needs more than a strong arm of the Lord to make it come true as even the babe of Bethlehem, the child born for us, was put to death by the tyranny of the Roman state. I know Jesus didn’t stay dead and there’s certainly great hope in that but it hasn’t done very much to change the nature of this violent wicked world. It’s not a very Merry Christmas message but then for a good portion of our planet Christmas Eve will not be a night of candles and carols. It will be a night of hiding in the shadows and praying for another dawn. I don’t know what the answer is except to say I will not give in to despair although my heart is breaking. I will not succumb to hopelessness even if there seems to be no solution. And I will continue to trust that in the end we will so long for an end to the madness that we will live more fully into the zeal of the Lord of hosts and slowly but surely there will be fewer hell holes like Aleppo. In the meantime, I will do what I can do to use my limited resources to help those who have even less and weep for those trapped in Aleppo and other hell holes so that they are not forgotten. It may be that the rod of the oppressor will only be broken in the final forever day of rejoicing and to that I say. Come Lord Jesus. Please.