For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Isaiah has to be hands down my most favorite book in the entire Bible, There are so many prophecies found in that single book about Jesus than in any other in the entire canon; Heck, even Jesus quoted it and claimed it, and why not it was written about HIM by his Father. Isaiah is a love song sung out through the centuries. And here we are in this season, HIS Season. Celebrating HIS birth, celebrating HIS governmental increase; and through HIM there is no end….
A couple of weeks ago my family went with a friend of ours and her child to a reenactment of the whole entire village of Bethlehem and more importantly the live enactment of the Nativity. We bustled about with the girls from one station to another, letting them try all there was to try laughing and shivering through their recreated streets, when a panicked man came through waving his arms frantically shouting, “PLEASE, my WIFE, she’s in labor… We NEED a place to stay…..”There were instantly hot tears pouring down my face. Everybody stopped and turned to watch this loud frantic man lead an aching, slumped over, hyperventilating woman atop a small gray donkey through the town shouting to every person, with desperation in his voice that you could not tune out….in that moment, you felt it, you owned it, it stirred up times in your life when that desperation was your own; and then he pushed on trying to find that fateful Inn and Manger we all know so well….The kids went about the task of making pinch pots that are guaranteed to break and eating foods I know they will spit out the minute it hits their lips, and my friend and my family pushed through the crowds letting the girls be well girls, dancing with costumed women in a circle doing a dance that was once celebrated but now forgotten in the quake of time, and then a loud blast of a trumpet and an announcement that our Christ was born, forgetting now what it was the Angelic hosts had said in that moment, I was again caught up in the moment glimpsing the joy that ALL of HEAVEN felt in that moment, I think for a second I got to see what heaven saw, a vision of all the Angelic hosts and the cloud of witnesses looking down from their clouds through the dark starry night with all of them honing in on a bellowing newborns cry and watching a man ever so tenderly wipe clean a crying babe, wrapping him ever so tenderly in swaddling cloth, speaking to him with words of love so faint they could not be heard. They stood in timeless awe as they watched that man hand the tiny King of Kings to the reclining mother fatigued from just giving life to the sweet heavenly child, so tiny, so vulnerable and weak. But yet so destined and divine. One would like to think that the child glowed a bit, in my mind He does because he was SO DIVINE. But reality was HE was just a BABE, with a great calling on his life. He was to be all of what Isaiah predicted and SO MUCH more than we could ever hope for. I’m sure all of creation and all of heaven held their breath for a second as they saw HIM their King in human form, I am sure in all their divinity there was such awe and wonder looking down on that little Babe with a lingering question…HOW? How will HE bring SALVATION to the world….I think about that Babe as we saw Him laying there in his mother’s arms of that little reenacted town and I think of how the shepherds and the Wise men felt the sense of Awe and Holiness looming in the air. Looking at the Babe I think of the three gifts and how prophetic they all were, Gold set before a King soon to Finance a hurried journey into Egypt in the Dead of Night, Frankincense for the High Priest to burn on our behalf to God for our proper atonement, and Myrrh for the great Sacrifice that will come unto Death and then new life again…His life but also ours….The Veil is torn my friends, this little Baby DID that so that we may enter into the Holy of Holies and see God face to face…….
Now in this season as we busy our lives with family, friends, food and festivities I invite you to not lose sight of that Babe. Pay close attention to the calls of a man demanding your attention for a moment seeking a room in your heart to give birth to something ancient and Holy, be attentive to HIS father’s call do not drown them out with the busyness of your life, to take time to hear the Harkening of the Angels (and the Holy Spirit) beckoning your Life to be forever changed and to bear witness and to be reconciled to Him, to the slumbering BABE, the great and magnificent King…. And to remember that this season truly is not about some guy in a red suit, with tiny little helpers, bells on a sleigh and the gifts he brings but rather it is about the greatest gift of all, the Birth of a tiny baby boy that established the Government of God here on Earth, whose life was seen by many but understood by few, His life that ended in great turmoil and sacrifice for our own personal benefit.
Now dear reader this is where I leave you with a blessing of the season. May your Season be Rich and Full of the Message of the Manger, may you hear the Heavenly Hosts excitedly proclaim to all of creation, O holy night, O night DIVINE………
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
Credit goes to: O Holy Night rewritten by John Sullivan Dwight; original score by Adolphe Adam in 1847