Thursday, December 22nd. Isaiah 9:2-7

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. 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. 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. For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 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 onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:2-7

 

It is very difficult for us to forget what we know.  It is hard for us to imagine where we have not been, to see what we haven’t seen.  But if we could…

 

If we could put ourselves back among the earliest followers of Jesus…

 

It would have begun with rumors.  We would have heard stories told by those who had heard stories.  We might even have heard from someone who had met him themselves.  A teacher but more than a teacher.  We might have heard stories of people restored to life and health.  Someone might have said something that made us decide that we needed to meet him ourselves.

 

Maybe we took a long walk and ended up in a hillside crowd where we heard him teach.  Maybe he happened to walk through our village.  At some point we saw him for ourselves.  There was something about him.  A mystery.  A power.  A determination. A strength.

 

He talked about love, about justice, about peace, about freedom.  He talked about a new kind of life that seemed so much better than the life we had known.  We wanted what he had to give.

 

But then came the news that he had been killed by the Romans during Passover.  But not just that.  The rumor was circulating that he had risen from the dead, appeared to some of his followers, and ascended to the right hand of God himself.  Now we would have wanted to hear from those followers, perhaps we ourselves became devoted followers.

 

But how could we explain who he was?  How ought we now walk in his footsteps?

 

Only then would the long remembered words of Isaiah come to life again for us.  “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” These were the kind of titles that Roman emperors would bestow on themselves but they would only lead to further domination and oppression. But Jesus?  Jesus brought life, freedom, joy and hope.

 

They remembered even more deeply into the scriptures and they began to see signs of Jesus all over.  The messiah. The suffering servant.  The great day of the Lord.  The promise that he would come again.  So they told the stories…the stories which have reached through history to claim us.

 

Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, we pray that you continue to bring the light of your love into the darkness of our world.  We pray for peace among nations, peace between people.  We pray for hope and strength to follow, that we might tell the good news story of your love for the rest of our lives.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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One Response to “Thursday, December 22nd. Isaiah 9:2-7”

  1. Pam Blaesing Says:

    Thank you for the mental journey. It was very ‘real’

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