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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent, Day 17

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JOURNEY to the MANGER: Advent 2010
Isaiah 9:1-7
Peter Kuzmic

The Coming of the Light
The true light ... was coming into the world” (John 1:9). That is how evangelist John (1:9) reflects about the Christmas event while summarizing the Incarnation by “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14). He must have read Isaiah who, many hundreds of years in advance, sees the coming of a “great light”(vs. 2) and of a “child born... son given” (vs. 6).

Isaiah was a royal advisor and a prophet who knew how to think politically. Today we would say that he was not only deeply spiritual, but also contextually relevant. He spreads out his prophetic message like painting a big picture on a large canvas of history, present and future. He actually saw more than he could fully grasp, for his own boundaries of understanding were transcended by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Apart from the divine light, people live in “distress and darkness” (8:22 and 9:2), but the great prophetic insight is that God is willing and capable of changing our human circumstances and transforming the situation by replacing the “shadow of death” with the “dawning of light” (vs. 2). The coming of light brings with it much joy and abundance (vs. 3). Light, joy and abundance speak of freedom from oppression. The ultimate deliverance comes with the birth of a saving ruler, the Son of God. Royal titles ascribed to this “light and child/son” clearly point to his deity (now read verse 6 aloud!). He is the source of all wisdom and power, fatherly love and is the ultimate peacemaker. The final result of his deliverance and rule is harmony of peace and justice. Just what our world needs!

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

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