I was reading Isaiah 9 this morning and enjoyed the familiarity of verses 6 and 7, often heard at this time of year.
Isaiah 9:6-7 – A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever
and Prince Who Brings Peace. The authority of his rule will continue to grow. The peace he brings will never end. He will rule on David’s throne and over his kingdom. He will make the kingdom strong and secure. His rule will be based on what is fair and right. It will last forever. The Lord’s great love will make sure that happens. He rules over all.
But what really stood out for me at this time of reading was not the familiar part but the preceding verses:
Isaiah 9: 2-5 – The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 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. 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. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
As a Christian re-read those words and rejoice. Our yoke has been shattered, our nation has been enlarged, our joy increased, our warrior garments and armour stained in this battle will one day be fuel for the fire as we stand before our God victorious.
The world’s not safe anymore, we have become a nation living in darkness, embracing the murkiness, ignoring the absence of light. We have become cold to the notion of a God whose devotion is without question. Is it truly beyond our comprehension that God’s expression of love was to send his own Son? His Son was given to us, Jesus is the great light that shines into the darkness, fellow citizens of heaven living on earth, celebrate today our Saviour’s birth for he has shattered the yoke that burdened me, broken the chains of the enemy, enlarged our territory, increased our joy, today rejoice with me that one day at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, Prince of Peace, bringing unity, love and reconciliation, one day our heavenly nation will taste victory, our armour stained in battle will become fuel for the fire, today heavenly choirs sing to herald the birth of a King, good news for all who are listening for this King came for all, his birth not exclusive, our God’s not elusive, he came for all, he came to break into your darkness, God incarnate born for you, God of love given to you, open your heart he’s waiting for you.