LIGHT: COMING AND STAYING
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.
‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today … a Savior has been born’.1
Well, Isaiah hasn’t finished with warnings yet, but today we can take a breath as he focuses totally on the hope to come! For his readers, this is all in the future. For us, even though some of the promises have yet to materialize, the Child is already born and fills us with light, joy, peace, and hope! I’d be surprised if any reader has not heard these verses in the past few days! The world Isaiah lives in, like ours, is full of darkness – but a Child is born, a Son is given, and in the darkness the Light has dawned! Today, as we look at and rejoice in the newborn Child, God Himself coming into our world, let’s take time to stop and focus on just who this wonderful Child is, on the awesome wonder of what has happened, and on the glorious knowledge of what is yet to come.
Isaiah could only speak of looking forward, but we already know the Child! ‘The government will be on His shoulders’ (6): it is His values, His commands – summed up in the requirements to love and forgive as He has loved and forgiven – of which we need to take note, not the values of any human institution. He is a ‘Wonderful Counselor’ (6): we don’t always know what to do, but we do always have One standing beside us providing advice, encouragement, and support – as well as sometimes challenges! He is the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. Make no mistake, it is God Himself who comes to us in the flesh of this new human being! He is Prince of Peace – peace not as the world gives. It may not lead to untroubled lives, but it does bring untroubled hearts and takes away fear!2
‘Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesus to you be glory given! Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing – O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.’3
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.
1 Luke 2:10,11 2 cf., John 14:27 3 Frederick Oakeley, 1802–80, from 17th-century Latin, ‘O come, all ye faithful’
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