A Christmas Prophecy
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
– Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT
You recognize this as one of the best-known prophecies about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s so well-known, even Mr. Handel turned it into a chorus in his most famous of works: Messiah. We need to understand how personal this prophecy is: for a child is born to us, a son is given to us. God gave His Son to us, to you and me.
There is another well-known prophecy in this same chapter, just a few verses earlier: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.” (Isaiah 9:2)
This too speaks of Christ; but not of His birth, rather it speaks of His life and ministry. When Christ came, He was the light that came into a land of deep darkness. And you know what? He continues to shine on those of us who live in a land of deep darkness.
The troubling part about the Christmas narrative is Israel’s complete lack of awareness when it comes to this light. There was a star in the sky for who knows how long, and the people that saw it? Magi from a distant land. But apparently no one in Israel. And the star settled above Bethlehem. What about the night Jesus was born? Legions of angels filled the sky with their presence and praise. And only the lowly shepherds noticed what happened.
The question is: how deep is the darkness in our culture? In our world? Because if the Jews who were there for the birth of Christ missed the light, what chance is there for us? Well, the good news is Christ has given us His light! “I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)
Today’s One Thing
Do you have that Light of life? What are you going to do with it? “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” (Ephesians 5:8) You are the light of the world and we are called to let our light shine into the hearts of those around us. This Christmas, let us remember that, and watch the light of God shine bright.