Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
– Isaiah 7:14
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.
– Isaiah 9:6-7
I absolutely love the book of book of Isaiah! Do you? I have a belief that this incredible book of prophecy captures the entire biblical narrative within its 66 chapters. While there is admittedly a lot of confusing prophecies and words of judgment against almost every nation and city that you can think, scattered amongst the doom and gloom are scintillating images of the coming Savior! Within the context of sin, judgment, and devastation, there are repeated glimpses of astounding beauty, love and even redemption! These diamonds in the rough awaken my heart to the thrill and anticipation that preceded Jesus! What eager expectation filled the hearts of those who heard and read this enigmatic book of prophesies! There was a hero on His way to save! There were promises of peace and joy! All that was wrong with the world was going to be made right! What promises! What hope! What joy!
This promised Champion wasn’t just another king or prophet or war hero. God’s people were sick of men who promised to save; in the end they always sold out, compromised, or didn’t stick around long enough to effect any real change. In contrast to this, God promised to send Immanuel –God with us. GOD. WITH. US.
As we begin our Advent journey together, my prayer is that we at Anthem would be a community that get’s lost in awe over this: In our self-created mess, the Wonderful Counselor wants to help! In the midst of our many weaknesses, the Mighty God offers His unending strength! In our increasingly isolated and lonely lives, our Eternal Father beckons us towards intimate relationship! Within the chaos of life and the holiday season, The Prince of Peace leads us towards calm water.
May we be a community that is thrilled to respond to this Immanuel!
// Buddy Holton