Advent – Preparing for the Coming King (Day 6)

Day 6 – God With Us – Isaiah 9:1-7

9 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.

Tonight on campus we are having our Christmas themed worship night.  We sing Christmas carols, read the Christmas story and take communion.  It is always a nice way to end the semester.  Every year I begin with one or two passages from the prophets that point ahead to Jesus and just about every year this passage is one of the ones I choose.  It is beautifully poetic and hopeful.  The world may be a mess now, but the child is coming, the king will be born who is God with us.

God with us. Emmanuel.  Christianity does not give you a God who stays far off.  Instead, our God comes near.  The Christian God has a face and a name, the Christian God walked among us as a human, experiencing all that we experience.

One simple lesson I think of as I reflect on this verse: God cares. God cares about you and me and all of us.  God demonstrated this in Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

I’ll end with the first three verses of the fantastic hymn O Come Emmanuel:

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

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