THE DAY OF ‘NEVERTHELESS’
God of love and God of joy, God of Bethlehem’s baby boy, I thank You and bless Your name.
Read Isaiah 9:1–7
9 [a]Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
- Isaiah 9:1 In Hebrew texts 9:1 is numbered 8:23, and 9:2-21 is numbered 9:1-20.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectMerry Christmas! Whatever joys or sorrows this day holds for you, God’s light has dawned and will one day shine in all its splendor.
Yesterday’s reading ended on a note of fear, gloom, and utter darkness. The ‘nevertheless’ of today’s reading is like the flaring of a match in that darkness, which is touched to a candle wick, and then to another, and another (2). The darkness is still real, but it can never overcome that spreading, growing, conquering flame of light.
The Child has been born, the Son has been given, but His total rule and reign over the earth is still a future promise, not a present reality (6,7). Nevertheless, it is sure and certain.
Just as the promise of His first coming was fulfilled, so will be the promise of His second coming, when His kingdom will be established with righteousness and justice for everyone, everywhere, forever.
Christmas can be a challenging time for many, or a joyful pause in the midst of challenges. Whatever you are facing, remember that today is the day of ‘nevertheless,’ the day that all of history hinges upon, the day of the coming of God-with-us.
Thank God for each of His names in verse 6 and ask Him to make His counsel, power, fatherhood, and peace real to you today and throughout the coming year.
Loving Lord, You drew near in Jesus the Christ Child. He is truly a Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Thanks be to God.
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