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Can you appreciate how magnificent a change God promised to bring about by means of Messiah Jesus? So that:. These faithless, disillusioned, rebellious, desperate ones walking in darkness have seen a great light ; upon those living in deep darkness, a light has dawned. Isaiah is so certain of the fulfillment of this prophecy that he speaks in the present tense; he speaks as though this great event had already come to fruition. Isaiah uses the image of darkness to symbolize those who had turned away from God. And it is to these who were living in a self-chosen and self-imposed spiritual darkness that Isaiah gave a vision of a piercing great light, of a light dawning and penetrating even their deep darkness.

Isaiah uses analogies from common occupations of his day to indicate just how joyous and, in the end, rewarding life with God is intended to be. So if we are able to rejoice over such earthly goods, how much more will we rejoice over the good of God and his provision, of God who seeks to give us his light and so increase our joy—and enjoyment —of and in him? For those listening to him were no doubt wondering:. How will he shatter the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor?

The Dawning of a New Day (Isaiah 8: 16 – 9: 7)

No, this overcoming of darkness—and sorrow—and oppression would come in the most unlikely way that they—or we—could have ever imagined:. Do you hear what Isaiah is saying? This child was born for us. This child is given to us. He is fully human, born of Mary—and he is fully God, given by God. But our loving triune God, before the creation of the world, determined not to treat us in kind. Rather than turn away and disregard us, he came as a child to deliver us from all suffering and evil and injustice.

For he is God who has come to reclaim and redeem those who are rightfully his. So who is this child to be born for us?

Daily Scripture

Who is this child to be given to us? Though this child will indeed be wonderful and a counselor , what Isaiah states is that he will be a Wonderful Counselor. Because he is God who made all things; because he is God who sustains all things; because he is God who knows all things and is all wisdom, he calls us to turn to him , to seek his wonderful counsel —his wonderful wisdom.

For who better for us to turn than the One who made all things? Who better for us to seek than the One who made us and thereby knows us better than ourselves? Isaiah further tells us that this Messiah, this Christ who has entered history in the flesh, in the person of Jesus, is Mighty God. And this title points to his power , to his ability to carry out his wonderful counsel and wisdom. And not only that but he is also the Everlasting Father in that he takes care of those who are his and does for them what is best for them.

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And as one who carries the government on his shoulders, who sustains and governs the world he created and to which he came, he is the Prince of Peace who has come to restore and redeem the creation order; to rescue and make right all that is wrong with it; to return the world to how he designed and intended it to be. For when God in Christ first came to earth in human form in the person of Jesus, that baby, that child in a manger born to us and given for us, he came as King to bring his heavenly Kingdom values and order to bear on the earthly mess we had made of things.

Yes, in Jesus, but in birth after birth, ever fresh and fresh. In your birth and my birth ever fresh and fresh, doing something new. What will it take for us, for you and me, to be able to say that our souls are magnifying and glorifying, intensifying and reflecting the love of God and therefore we rejoice? Advent, Christmas Epiphany — the Incarnation — add the Transfiguration, Lent, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost are all about God making this journey toward us and then inviting us to make the journey toward God and showing us the way.

Yes, the journey will take us through dark places. Yes, we will get lost. Yes, there will be hardship and loss.

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Life will be tough and difficult, full of pain and suffering, sometimes because of the faith we hold or that holds us. A shoot shall come out from what appeared to be a dead tree cut to its roots. Life will emerge from apparent death. Something new is about to take place. Now, from our Christian perspective, we hear these words and immediately think of Jesus. But what he is talking about is the generative power of God. Whoever is the bearer of the spirit of Yahweh generates a new historical possibility where none was available.

He — she — will do something new. They saw within Jesus, God doing something new. To guide our feet into the way of peace. To guide our feet into the way.

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To guide our feet. To guide. Spirit enters flesh And for all its worth Charges into earth In birth after birth ever fresh and fresh. This week we will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrating with friends and family the most distinctive theological claim of Christianity, the incarnation, which sets us apart from every other religion on this earth.

THE Dawning of Gods Peace

The history is important. Is Christ stuck in the past or is he an ongoing presence being born again and again in humanity? Last year, a friend posted a photograph on his facebook page. It was an image of a manger scene. The figures appeared to be made of clay or ceramic. You can see a donkey, a cow, some sheep. Mary and Joseph are there on either side of the manger full of hay holding the baby Jesus.

But if you look closely at the figure of Jesus he is being held firmly in place with a white, plastic strip—a cable tie—that wraps around the belly of the baby Jesus and manger.

The Way Toward Birth - Dawning Light - Covenant Network

Oddly enough, this morning I found a cable tie on the ground, on the driveway between the church and the church house. My friend is a student at Princeton Seminary. Mackay is the name of the student center on the Princeton Seminary campus.

"God's Promise of Personal Peace" with Tom Holladay

Now, seminarians are known for their many pranks.