“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light . . . For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . .”
Today we leave behind our Gospel account of the birth of Christ, and turn to this beautiful prophesy in Isaiah which speaks of the coming Messiah.
Isaiah is clear that the Messiah will be both a human child, born of a woman, and also a divine son “given” to us by the Lord – God’s own son. He will be a “Wonderful Counsellor” with a heavenly wisdom that would turn human thinking on its head. He will be “Mighty God”, with all the power of God, and “Eternal Father”, not like a human king who lives and then fades away. He will be the “Prince of Peace”, bringing peace not only among people, but between people and God.
God’s answer to all the evil, the misuse of power, the warring and fighting, the injustice, will be a child. This is our God. He does not need to play to the rules devised by humanity where strength and power are shown through weapons or money. He has his own way of doing things. He will rule justly, bring wisdom, demonstrate power and declare peace, and he will do it all through the person whose birth we celebrate today. It will all begin with a tiny newborn baby.
Even today, many are walking in darkness. As millions celebrate a version of Christmas that barely mentions the Christ child, we can rejoice because we know that our light has come and the darkness cannot withstand it. May we shine that light strongly so that others may see and know that there is a Saviour who gave up all he had for them.