It’s no secret – but we are in a crisis. Each day the news gets worse, with commentators suggesting that Europe will never be the same again and that it’s the end of the Euro. In a desperate attempt to rescue the ‘eurozone’ Presidents are resigning, interest rates are dropped, debt bailout plans and austerity measures are put in place.
We don’t have to have a First in Economics and Politics to understand that financially and politically Europe, indeed the whole world, is in a bad way. Ireland is certainly in no position to change anything and for most of us we sit at the mercy of the ECB or the IMF to make things better and brighter. Christmas may be coming but I don’t think there will be too many celebrations and too many gifts!
It’s at times like this we need to be reminded of our Sovereign God, the creator and controller of the universe, with absolute power and supreme authority. The reality is, as history has proved, human leaders and institutions will always fail because we are sinful and broken people intent on running our lives and our world our way. In response we need to repent and turn to the one God promised through his prophet Daniel: ‘In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man…He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an ever lasting dominion that will not pass away, and his Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.’ (Daniel 7v13-14)
I am no prophet and I do not know what will happen Europe or the Euro. We may have a new ‘two tier’ system we may see others kicked out – but what I do know is that God’s prophecy has come true. Christmas is a time of celebration because in Jesus Christ we have the gift of a leader who has come to unite all peoples round him. The angel spoke to Mary: ‘Do not be afraid Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his Father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his Kingdom will never end.’ Luke 1v31-33
Jesus is the fulfilment of Daniels prophecy, he is the King who will unite all people round him. His is the Kingdom that will never be broken by banks or leaders. His Kingdom is eternal and he will reign for ever and ever. Christmas reminds us of the leader we all look for. The one who will unite us together not on the basis of race or riches but on the basis that we are forgiven of a greater debt, our sin, and redeemed from a more hopeless and eternal situation, hell.
The decisions made by Europe in the coming days will no doubt impact us all, we can’t escape cuts and taxes as will be seen in the coming budget. However we have a eternal hope in Jesus. He is the Sovereign Lord who is not controlled by a nations debt or a leaders decision. He is God, supreme over all. His kingdom will continue to grow whether Europe as we know it exists or not. His Kingdom will last for ever and ever – beyond anything that dominates our news today.
Thank God we have something to celebrate this Christmas even if our materials gifts to one another might be smaller!