Christmas

His Birth Foretold

This devotional is written by Pip Coombs. Pip is a midwife and is married to the 'Every day with Matt' Matt.

Isaiah 9:1-7

9 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—
2 The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian's defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior's boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

Reflection

At the bottom of this devotional I've put a link to Handel's Messiah "For unto us a Child is Born" – which I love! I know that this music isn’t necessarily everybody's thing but whenever I hear it, it signals full on run-up-to-Christmas-vibes! So this for me, is a great place to start our Everyday with Pip (see what I did there?) Christmas devotionals.

Since becoming a Christian, this music has meant so much more to me. What was once just nice music associated with happy Christmas times, is now an expression of the reality of my faith. That God, the creator of everything, humbled himself and entered into our messy world as a baby.

Isaiah prophesied about the coming of a Messiah, a great light in the darkness (2), one who will come to right all wrongs, to restore Israel. But he doesn't come as a warrior or a politician but as a child, as a son who is given. John writes in his gospel: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (3:16).

Isaiah speaks of a future reality, and you can sense the anticipation for change, the desperation for the status quo would be shifted. When this child is born – the world will never be the same again. He is Lord and his Kingdom shall reign forever and the governments shall be on his shoulders (6).

Like I said, I listen to this music in a whole new way since becoming a Christian. It's not just a powerful arrangement, but the music and the scripture it draws from is all about Jesus. Jesus, who I (and I suspect you) have a personal relationship with. Many times he has been to me a wonderful counsellor (6). I know from experience what it is to say that Jesus is the prince of peace in my life as he speaks harmony to my disharmony.

In this time leading up to Christmas let's be thankful that we no longer need to await the coming King like Isaiah. Instead we know he is right here in our midst by his Spirit, we can enjoy intimacy with him and pray that his kingdom of peace would come.

I recommend putting headphones in, closing your eyes and pushing the volume to eleven!


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