Advent to Epiphany Blog

Isaiah 9:2-7

Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV)

2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
3 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. 4 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. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and
every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel
for the fire. 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.

From the beginning, we have struggled to be an obediently loving people. We have turned away from God and toward our own selfish desires and ambitions. Perhaps you have experienced this feeling of conviction for yourself as your eyes are opened to the unfaithfulness of our people. Perhaps then this conviction turned to guilt or despair as your faith in yourself began to break down. It is far too easy to fixate on our shortcomings. When we do this, we run the risk of mishearing what heaven is saying back at us. Instead of listening to words of truth, we listen to false words of condemnation. When all we can see is our failure and shame, and guilt is burdening us we often fail to hear what God has been speaking all along.

Tonight we remember God’s response to our unfaithfulness: a baby boy, sent to be our redeemer.

Let us rejoice together with shouts of praise, for our God has initiated redemption by sending his son into the world to deliver us!

Daniel Reffner is a sophomore at Southwestern College majoring in Religion and Philosophy

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