DAY 11 | BORN TO SHINE A GREAT LIGHTScripture Reading: Luke 1:76-79; Isaiah 9: 1-7
And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77 to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. 78 Because of our God’s merciful compassion, the dawn from on high will visit us 79 to shine on those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
— Luke 1:76-79
Nevertheless, the gloom of the distressed land will not be like that of the former times when he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali. But in the future he will bring honor to the way of the sea, to the land east of the Jordan, and to Galilee of the nations. 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy. The people have rejoiced before you as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. 4 For you have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as you did on the day of Midian. 5 For every trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from now on and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
— Isaiah 9:1-7
Birth announcements are common today. They may be a picture of a small pair of shoes, a little pumpkin, or something blue or pink exploding. Mary got a different sort of announcement: an angel told her that she would conceive and give birth to the long awaited Messiah—the Son of God. That’s an announcement you can’t put on the fridge! In the passage we see that, from the very beginning and announcement of his birth, Jesus was heralded as a king. Most kings have subjects that serve them, but King Jesus came to serve and save his people. Isaiah, writing of this very birth, says that one of the names of Jesus would be Immanuel, which means “God is with us.” The king and creator of the universe came to be with his people; he walked among them, and he died for them. The creator of light itself, entered the darkness of earth and illuminated the way of peace for those at enmity with God. This Christmas, let us appreciate all the more both the transcendent kingliness of God and his immanent nearness to us, his people.
Reflection Questions: 1. In what ways do you struggle to understand and trust that Jesus is both King and “God with us?” 2. How should we live in light of the kingliness of Jesus? Is there any part of your life that needs to change in order to be fully committed to following Jesus into the world? (John 17:18)
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