A Winter of Discontent

By Marc Whitehead

Simply stated, 2011 has been a turbulent time in the history of the world. We have witnessed the toppling of one government after another throughout the Arab world.

Both Greece and Italy, poised on the brink of bankruptcy, have replaced their leaders. The “Occupy Wall Street” movement has just entered its 2nd month.

World financial markets continue to be marked by volatility and investor uncertainty, as western governments try to tackle massive debt.

The worlds of finance, sport, politics, religion and policing, have all been wracked by sex scandals and allegations of sexual assault and abuse.

Climate change has wreaked havoc on many places around the world, including Manitoba.

Famine and the civil unrest following the mass migrations of peoples seems to have become endemic, even as the world population has passed the 7 billion mark.

For many people, the world they have always known seems to be disappearing, and the accusation hurled at God in the time of the prophet Isaiah , “Aren’t you going to say something? Haven’t you made us miserable long enough?” seems to be on the lips of many.

The people of Isaiah’s time called upon God to rip the heavens apart, and to come down to earth, and to leave the mighty shaking in their boots. So too did the people of Jesus’ time. So do the people of our time.

As Christians we know that God has heard the cries of the suffering and has come among us. But as Christmas approaches we are reminded that it is the cry of an infant that rips through the night sky, and that it is the sight of a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, that causes the mighty to tremble.

In the midst of tumult, God chooses not simply to come among us, but to take on our flesh and become one of us. And that is something tumultuous indeed!

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