Daily Worship

Finding time to break yokes. How can we side with God this Christmas?

Albert Bogle December 26, 2022 0 7
Image credit: Unsplash
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Isaiah 9: 2-7 (NRSVA)

2 The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
    on them light has shined.
3 You have multiplied the nation,
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as people exult when dividing plunder.
4 For the yoke of their burden,
    and the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors
    and all the garments rolled in blood
    shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
6 For a child has been born for us,
    a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
    and he is named
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His authority shall grow continually,
    and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
    He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Boxing Day in Victorian times was traditionally a day to go home for Christmas especially if you were ‘in service’.  The title ‘In service’ was used to describe those who worked as servants to the middle and upper classes of society. It was a day you might say when ‘leftovers’ were boxed up and servants could take food home to family and friends. It was a day of freedom.

In our reading today the prophet looks forward to a day when all will be free. When the heavy hand of oppression is lifted and the boots of the invading armies are burnt in the fire. And all can live at home in peace.

Paul Simon’s song ‘The Boxer' expresses the struggle of so many people today trying to find meaning and comfort in a dysfunctional world. Trying to work their way home. The world of work and wages hang like boxing gloves around their necks.

“In the clearing stands a boxer

And a fighter by his trade

And he carries a reminder

Of every glove that laid him down

Or cut him till he cried out

In his anger and his shame

‘I am leaving, I am leaving”

But the fighter still remains” (Paul Simon, ‘The Boxer’)

Even here in this lyric there is a narrative that seems to be in our DNA that tells us despite all our scares and hurts — we can fight through this bitter winter to a better day to a clearing place in troubled times and sing a hallelujah!


Christ the Boxer


Risen Lord

Like the boxer in the clearing

You stand victorious

You have journeyed

From the cradle through the grave

‘In service’

But you carry the scars of the fight

Our fight

Our anger

Our shame

Crossed out

Cut out of time

Clearing the way

To God

Yet in leaving

You remain

In Spirit

To be our coach

Teaching us to live

In the light of your victory

Hallelujah — What a Saviour!