“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given. and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2,6 I have often found encouragement in these words of Isaiah. The longed for messiah will bring about a reversal of circumstance. Isaiah was a given a vision of a world made whole. The child born will not be an ordinary child, but one who will rule forever. In the birth of Christ our circumstances changed. Whenever we face trials, defeats, tragedies, depression or losses; when we yearn for something to give us hope, Isaiah’s words speak to our hearts.
The words of Isaiah have echoed through the centuries with that message. They speak to whatever darkness we face. “Those who dwelt in a land of darkness on them ; light has shined.” The promise is simply this: God will not let go of us. God has not and will not forget us. Where there are tears, one day they will all be wiped away. The burdened heart buried in cares will know joy. Whatever our outward circumstances might appear, despite all our mistakes, we are loved. Our foolishness and doubts, even the bitterness which eats at our soul cannot take God’s love away. God comes to be with us. God comes to lead us to life.
Ann Weems writes, “ I pray that the whole world might sit down together and share its bread and its wine. Some say there is no hope, but then I’ve always applauded the holy fools who never seem to give up on the scandalousness of our faith; that we are loved by God…that we can truly love one another. I no longer pray for peace: I pray for miracles.” From Advent’s Alleluia to Easter’s Morning Light
There is both mystery and miracle about Christmas that simply cannot be explained. Promises made centuries before are fulfilled in a child born in the obscure village of Bethlehem. Tonight we ponder the mystery of God’s coming among us. We celebrate the light brought into our world. We give thanks for the one who came as peace that we might become peace to one another.