So begins Isaiah’s foretelling of one who was to come. ‘Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end . He will reign on David’s throne….from that time on and forever.’ Isaiah 9: 7.
And so approx. 700 years later we travel with Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem the city of David where (retrospectively)we recognise this child arrives. Jesus( God saves) is the Christ (the anointed king) who has been sent into the world (mas). Christmas.
This is the one who later declared ‘ I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.’ John 8: 12 What a claim! Holman Hunt captured this with Jesus knocking on the door of someone’s heart..
When we open the door to Jesus, when we receive Jesus as Lord into our lives, we receive the light of life. We begin to see life differently. As we become a follower, of Jesus we no longer have to remain bound in spiritual or psychological darkness. We have a very real invitation to begin a journey into increasing light and holiness with Him. This is true personally, socially, and politically. It happens through the Holy Spirit. We explore that here at St Nics through Alpha, Being together and Living Free or on our 1:1 discipleship course. Have a look at our testimony tab.
When Isaiah gave this prophecy, things were about to get much worse politically for Israel. The Assyrians were about to sweep down into northern Israel and the diaspora of the 10 tribes happened. Later the Babylonians came and destroyed the temple and removed the remaining leaders and hierarchy from Jerusalem. Later Cyrus and then Artaxerxes supported a rebuild. Later the Greeks came and then as Alexander’s empire split various factions and mini empires arose and fought over the land until finally the Romans came and made Palestine a province. Good grief. Where was the Messiah, the Christ?
And yet this promise began its literal fulfilment with Jesus arrival. Since his crucifixion, glorious resurrection, and ascension His kingdom has come and continues to come through the Holy Spirit’s life-transforming witness in individuals and communities. Through the church. Empires have come and gone and will continue to do so. However, of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end. This is happening. There are more Christians alive today than ever before.
If you are not experiencing His light in your life consider Alpha, consider Living Free. The best gift anyone can receive at Christmas is Christ Himself. If you want help in doing so, please speak to me or other Christians you know.
I am praying as I write this that that you experience Immanuel, God with us, God with you, this Christmas.