A Child Has Been Born — For Us!
One of my favorite times of the year is Advent. I have collected some thoughts and curated a Spotify playlist¹ to inspire us through this day and season. Nothing would make me happier than you joining in the celebration.
“But there’ll be no darkness for those who were in trouble. Earlier, he did bring the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali into disrepute. Still, the time is coming when he’ll make that whole area glorious — the road along the Sea, the country past the Jordan, international Galilee.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows — light! sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation; you expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of a grand celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants — all their whips and clubs and curses — Is gone, done away with, a deliverance as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian. The boots of all those invading troops, along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood, Will be piled in a heap and burned, a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born — for us! The gift of a son — for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, and Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going. With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.” — Isaiah 9:1–7 (The Message Translation)
In closing, let’s pray these words, “In Human Form” by Walter Brueggemann: “You are God, high, lifted up, majestic. As we say, “Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory . . . forever.” You are high and lifted up; it dazzles us that You work Your will through such human agents as David, the runt of his family, almost left behind and forgotten, and You called him to power, obedience, and success.
You are high and lifted up; it staggers us that You have worked Your will through this Jesus of Nazareth, He of no pedigree, He of no form or comeliness, He who emptied Himself in obedience; and You have raised Him to new life, before whom every knee shall bow.
You are high and lifted up; it astonishes us that You work Your will through human agents like us, people of little consequence and limited capacity. You call us beyond ourselves; You send us beyond our imagination; You empower us beyond our ability, and we become Your agents in the world, daily doing justice, mercy, and compassion. At the end of the day, we still say in astonishment that You are high and lifted up and majestic. We are Your creatures, and we give our life back to You, filled with gratitude, eager for the rest that only You can give. Amen.
Merry Christmas, friends!