Born a child, and yet a King. Even these wise men from foreign lands recognized the rule of the newborn King. And so they came, not just to see him or confirm his birth; they came to worship him, to give him glory and praise.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Such simple words with such incredible implications. From the very beginning, he had always been there. But now he was here. The author of life born into creation.
“Fear not” is easier said than done, especially for the Israelites. After everything they’d been through, everything they’d faced, fear was a part of their lives. They had rejected God over and over again, spurning him for selfish desire and worshiping idols in his place.
In their darkest days, Israel had pleaded with God for a king. And God had granted them exactly what they wanted: a king that they had deemed worthy. A king who was strong, handsome, and charismatic. Israel adored Saul for all that he was, and ignored all that he wasn’t.
Our own righteousness is one of our biggest problems. Because we do good things, we think we are good. And when we do good things, we feel good about ourselves and believe others should think better of us for it.
Isaiah promised that the Messiah would be the anointed one, the bringer of good news, the mender of broken hearts, the liberator of captives, the breaker of chains, the proclaimer of truth and justice, and the comforter of those who mourn.
Peace: a term foreign to the Israelites. They lived in a world thrown into constant turmoil because of sin. Peace was the dream, the ideal that Adam had experienced in the garden before his sin brought with it ruin.
Shadows of glory, whispers of grace. Isaiah offered Israel glimpses of the coming Messiah, continuing the tapestry that began with a single thread in Genesis. The very nature of his coming would be inherently miraculous and specifically identifiable.
Moses was the leader Israel never expected, but David was the king for which they begged. He was a man of courage, faith, and compassion, a fearless leader who sought to honor the Lord above all else. David loved the Lord, and Israel loved David.
God’s plan would continue to unfold through promise. He revealed that a great nation would descend from Abraham. From one, a multitude. But there was an even greater promise in this covenant: the promise that through this nation, every family on earth would be blessed.
Before eggnog and Ebenezer Scrooge, before carols and candlelight services, there they stood, ashamed and afraid, the first transgressors reeling from the first transgression. They had enjoyed creation as it was intended, a peaceful and perfect world. But everything changed so quickly.