December 20

Isaiah 9:2-7

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” vs. 6

Coronations were a big deal in the nation of Judah. They were a time for celebrations and extravagant displays; the prophets proclaimed the glory of God and pronounced God’s blessing on the newly crowned king. Isaiah describes the new king as a child given from God, a son with authority and a string of fine-sounding names. It was a fresh start for the nation and hopes were high. Early Christians read these verses as a description of Jesus, a child born in humble surroundings but carrying with him all the hopes of the people. He was a light shining in the darkness, the dawn of a new age. Those hopes are especially poignant in this mid-December time when, at least in the Northern Hemisphere,  the sun takes prolonged breaks from lighting up our world. We love the light displays in front yards, the candle flames in our homes, and the ritual of lighting Advent wreaths. Sometimes it seems as though things are not changing much in our world and we grow weary of the dark stories that dominate the news. That’s why it feels good to string up the lights, drag out the candles and celebrate the Light of Christ. It’s like a coronation or the birthday of a king, an annual festival of thanksgiving that rises out of faith and that feeds our deepest hopes.

Thought for the Day: Who or what lights up my life?

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