Christmas Eve: Relationships: Isaiah 9
† I.H.S. †
May you realize the long awaited promise of God’s active presence in our lives, came true for all on a night like this… as Jesus the Messiah was born.
Four simple letters, written by a prophet 700 years before the event he saw. The promise of God nearly two millennia before that.
Four letters, divided into two words, that matter more than we can imagine.
This child that we celebrate, this man who is God whom we glorify, was born to us.
And everything changes, as the relationship that God wants to have with us, is revealed. That which they couldn’t understand in Isaiah’s day, and couldn’t understand on the night when Mary gave birth, made clear. God came to us. To have a relationship with us, to relate to us in a number of ways Isaiah tells US.
Like Kay is my wife, the church’s office manager, the mother of my son, so too does God relate TO US in a number of incredible ways….. and as we celebrate Jesus coming to us, as we ponder what this all means, it is worth looking at who Isaiah says this Jesus, this God is saves relates… to us
Wonderful Counselor, the one who comforts and directs, who consoles and guides, whose wisdom we depend upon. This is the God, who came to us. It is the first way Isaiah tells us that He will relate… to us.
He does this because we need direction, we need comfort, we need God here, to be our shepherd. Because we too often lose our way morally, We need Him when life results in despair and mourning. So a child was born to us.
That baby, who was laid in a feeding trough, this child born of parents who would soon leave their country because of persecution and move. He is one we truly need, A God, the God, not made of wood or fashioned from stone. A God, who is mighty, and uses that might, that ability, that power, for us. For that is how He would relate to us. Not just minimally from a distance but interacting with us here.
Too often we make false gods, ones who would promise to do what we want, what we think we want. We don’t want these gods to love us; rather we only want them to give us what we think we need. This God, though, who came as a child to us…is not like that. He is a mighty God, who loves and knows what we truly need. He relates to us as the God, who is always able to be Whom we need,
The next way is is my favorite of the ways in which God relates to us humans, to his people. As our eternal dad, as the loving Father, we run to when we are hurt when we’ve broken our neighbor’s window, or their hearts when we’ve done the things that leave us needing His strong embrace.
And this Father is eternal, and he will be our Father eternally. Think about that. God just isn’t a god of this day or that, a fad. He will be your God always.
There is a lot in this idea that this child relates to us as our Father, our everlasting Father. Theologians make a big deal of it. But when you need Him, His embrace is there…for you.
The last way God relates to us, through this child given to us, is so needed today. With all of the stress, all of the fears, with all the brokenness we have to witness, such is the nature of the God who comes to us. He is the Prince of Peace!
We so often picture the serenity of the manger scene, which I am not quite sure would be that peaceful. A woman gave birth, a husband tired and weary, the shepherds, still in awe of the million angels announcing the glory of Christ being born… into that scene comes the prince of peace… and we always picture that scene as serene, peaceful, because we know His character.
The child who would be, no who is, the prince of peace….our Prince of peace.
This child in the manger calms our fears, our anxieties, our lives…our world. Because of him, we have this peace… peace beyond understanding. For that is why He came… to us.
And the prince of peace….to us is given
The prince of peace who has come… to us.