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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, December 11, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Isaiah 9:2, 6–7

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (NRSV)

In the book of Isaiah, the prophet warns Israel—due to their disobedience and alienation toward God—of their impending exile to Babylon. It is out of this context that the prophet proclaims God’s promise to send a messiah who will deliver Israel from bondage and bring in the age of messianic reign.

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

There are two points in today’s passages that encourage hope in people of faith. The first is God’s action to bring light or illumination to people living in darkness. God redeems the earth by establishing a new creation, which comingles the divine with humanity. Thus Christ consciousness enters the world.

The second point is God has established the kingdom of God on earth through the birth of Christ. This kingdom is here and now, yet not complete until the fullness of time. Until this time people of faith are called to partner with God to incarnate Christ’s realm, the hallmark of which is justice and righteousness.

The goodness, compassion, and sacrificial service of Christ’s followers is to provide a witness to this emerging new age. Those who reflect the “law of love” are supporting God’s reign on earth.

The dawning of this kingdom, coming down through the ages incrementally, lightens the landscape of the divine purpose. When the Dayspring arrives, all revelation will be met.

Good Lord, transform our hearts, that we may pave the way of God’s kingdom on earth. Amen.

Written by Susan Cornelius, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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