For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:11-14 (ESV)
Each of these passages begins with a declaration. And even though the prophecy of Isaiah was written seven centuries before the words of Luke, they are the same. They are a declaration of promise. The most important promise since creation: a child is born who is a savior.
Those who read Isaiah’s word must have been astonished – and probably more than a little skeptical. A child will have the government on his shoulder? The Jews were literal slaves to the government of the Roman emperor. He will be called Wonderful Counselor – how can a child be a counselor to the leaders and kings and governors? Mighty God – wait, that just too much!!! And how will this child be an Everlasting Father? Prince of Peace? They lived in a time of constant wars and battles. Average life expectancy was only about 35 years. How could all of this be?
But then, it happened. A child whose birth had been trumpeted by a host of angels, was indeed there in the city of David, Bethlehem. The entire story of the Old Testament came to life on a single day.
Most today are still skeptical. Christmas is a holiday of commercialism. Fewer and fewer will fill churches on this day. How do we share the good news? I have a suggestion for you.
The Christmas story is available. We can retell it all we want; they’ve already heard it. We can sing carols and recite the story and tell them of the Christ. But, as was said twenty centuries ago, they don’t have ears to hear, nor eyes to see. How about instead we live the Christmas story. What if Christ in us shown like the light of the world that came to us then? What if we modeled the love brought to earth by that baby in that cattle stall? Isn’t this what He called us to do? Let our light shine!
Every day of this holiday, let your light shine, my friends!