As we prepare to celebrate Christmas many of us will once again turn to the story of that first Christmas in Bethlehem. We’ll remember the baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, surrounded by docile sheep and cows, awed shepherds. Silent night. Heart warming, maybe even quaint, in a way.
Yet that first Christmas was a radical event. Something so new and nearly unbelievable that God in His patience worked up to it for thousands of years. Giving us, through his prophets in the Old Testament, little glimpses and hints of what He had planned to rescue us.
The prophet Isaiah is the source of much of what God communicated about the coming of Messiah. In chapter 42 of his book in the Old Testament Isaiah records God’s words concerning His servant, who we would eventually come to realize is Jesus. God tells us that His soul delights in Jesus, that the Savior would not be disheartened or crushed and that He would establish justice in the earth.
No one could have imagined this hero would appear in the form of a helpless baby, relegated to spending His first days on the planet in a lowly manger. Yet God hinted at how unique His plan would be all along. “Behold, the former things have come to pass, now I declare new things,” Isaiah records God saying.
And then he writes “Sing to the Lord a new song, sing His praise from the end of the earth!”
The newness of the things God declares includes the new start He offers each of us, and the opportunity to lead others to find their own newness in what God is doing.
This week during Middays Prayer Time, around 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM, I’ll share from this chapter in Isaiah.
Mon 12/02 Isaiah 42:1 – 2
Tue 12/03 Isaiah 42:3 – 4
Wed 12/04 Isaiah 42:5 – 7
Thu 12/05 Isaiah 42:8 – 10
Fri 12/06 Isaiah 42:11 – 13
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