Thursday, December 4, 2014
When Isaiah spoke God 's Word to the people of Israel, life was more than difficult. The prophet's message spans a huge chunk of time and a changing environment. The time period runs the gamut of being threatened on all sides to being conquered and moved into a forced exile. For the prophet it is clear everything happening is related to the sins of the people and a God who finally says, "Enough is enough!" It is, therefore, not the best of times for the chosen people of God.
In this environment filled with despair, darkness, and uncertainty over the future, Isaiah spoke words of hope from God. One of those words comes in the 9th chapter of the writing we know as Isaiah. It begins with the words, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light," and then moves to words read and sung at this time every year. In verse 6 the Word reads, "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." To still our minds and hearts for a moment enables us to hear that indescribable sound of Handel's "Messiah" blessing our spirits. Listen to it now as it soars through our soul. Enjoy it. Experience it. Let it become a word of praise in the midst of what may have been such an ordinary moment.
Our times are surely different than those ancient Hebrews who first heard this Word of hope. However, our need for the One about whom the Word speaks still exists. Most of us know about darkness in our life. Most of us know about an uncertain future. And all of us long to hear that God is coming into our darkness in radical ways to change not only our life but the world around us as well. This Son of God who came long ago still has the coming power to work the miracle of hope regardless of our circumstances. Look for Him. He has surely found each of us and only waits for an opening to our heart.