Isaiah 9:2-7 Common English Bible (CEB)
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
On those living in a pitch-dark land, light has dawned.
3 You have made the nation great;
you have increased its joy.
They rejoiced before you as with joy at the harvest,
as those who divide plunder rejoice.
4 As on the day of Midian, you’ve shattered the yoke that burdened them,
the staff on their shoulders,
and the rod of their oppressor.
5 Because every boot of the thundering warriors,
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned, fuel for the fire.
6 A child is born to us, a son is given to us,
and authority will be on his shoulders.
He will be named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be vast authority and endless peace
for David’s throne and for his kingdom,
establishing and sustaining it
with justice and righteousness
now and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of heavenly forces will do this.
I just read a portion of a wonderful blog post by Rachel Held Evans:
Those little Advent candles sure have a lot of darkness to overcome this year. I see them glowing from church windows and on TV, in homes and at midnight vigils, here in Dayton (TN) and in Sandy Hook. Their stubborn flames represent the divine promise that even the smallest light can chase away the shadows lurking in this world, that even in the darkest places, God can’t be kept out.
It’s a hard promise to believe right now, I know. The children in the pictures are just too young, too familiar. Our hearts ache; the darkness seems so heavy and thick….. RHE, December 17, 2012
And yet, we still believe. Because we stand on God’s promise of a baby – a baby who will grow to challenge the powers of evil and greed and tyranny. Because this baby will grow into a man who showed us what the love of God can look like in this world. Because we know this baby proved that death and evil will not win.
My prayer this Advent is the refrain of one of my favorite hymns:
In him there is no darkness at all.
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamp is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Betty Brunlieb Price