Moment in the Word

Isaiah 9:1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan.
From time to time, we all find ourselves distressed, and this past year has been a perfect example. Characteristically, God spoke to the children of Israel and confirmed that He had purposely humbled them by adversity due to their obstinate sin. However, with their dismal crisis, the Almighty also promised that His judgment would eventually end at a time when an amazing event occurred near the Sea of Galilee beyond the Jordan River. Today, we recognize that predicted region as the location of Nazareth where Jesus grew up and began His ministry.
Isaiah's prophecy continued, "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."  Isaiah 9:2
For those who know Christ as their Savior, the sacred season of Christmas is a most enlightening experience that illuminates darkness with the promise of hope. Despite the hardships that have confronted us in 2020, yet there is the radiant prospect of God's love that fills our hearts during this Christmas season.
Considering the present pandemic's restrictions, I'm not talking about decorated trees, piles of presents, sumptuous meals, the ability to be with family and friends or any of the other glitzy traditions that often accompany the secular side of the celebration. I'm simply talking about the enduring love and hope that has continued undimmed for thousands of years since the prophet Isaiah first penned God's promise of light shining in the midst of darkness due to the humble birth of a child, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Impervious to gloom, the glory of Christmas remains an immediate hope, "a child is born... a son is given." And, in the fullness of time, "the government will be on his shoulders; and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Kindled so long ago, the light of Christmas shines brighter each passing year as we wait for the final fulfillment of Christ's triumphant return, "Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9:7
No matter what we have endured in 2020 or what pending difficulties wait in 2021, remember to rejoice in the bright hope of Christmas because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

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