One of the most beloved prophetic Christmas passages comes to us in Isaiah 9.
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.
The immediate context of Isaiah delivering this prophecy is that the Israelites are under judgment because of their disobedience. The Assyrian oppressors are making life very tough on God’s people. As easy as it is to see what the Assyrian empire is doing to the nation of Israel it is vitally important to see that God is using this to bring His people back into an intimate relationship with Him.
Our loving God has used discipline to bring people back all through history. On our own we tend to drift away and claim that we are fine without God. He loves us too much to let that happen! Because of His great love there is discipline and refining that must take place. Our Heavenly Father does this because we so desperately need for Him to rule in our hearts and our minds. We also know that the heart of God pursues us to bless us and not to harm us. The full extent of His commitment is seen in these words from Isaiah.
He comes to us in gentleness – like a child – not like, but as an actual baby! That is amazing, mysterious and so very telling. God comes to us in tenderness and grace. He comes bearing gifts as He enters our situation. His name is Immanuel [Isaiah 7.14] which means “God with us”. How good is that?
We can be filled with Joy because this baby is our Savior and our King. The Christ Child comes to us filled with both grace and great power. He comes to us bringing all that we need to be healed and made whole. The birth of a child is naturally a time of celebration but in the case of Jesus we celebrate because this baby comes to set us free from the power of sin and death. The main thing to focus on is that He has chosen to come to us and not wait for us to come to Him when we have everything straight.
Come and celebrate the Son of God this Sunday who came for you. Many of Oak Hill’s children will also be sharing the Good News of Christmas at the worship service as they present a program entitled “Through the Eyes of a Child”. It will be a great morning!
See you Sunday,
Pastor Nick Mundis