Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7
Reflection: At the start of the Advent season the promise to David of an everlasting dynasty was
remembered. Now, as the season draws to a close, and we move, finally, to Christmas, the promise is repeated again – this time with a sign of fulfillment in the Child who will be born. Now, as we read this, we cannot help but think of the baby at the centre of the Christmas celebrations. Isaiah, of course, knew nothing of Jesus, but through the ages, whatever these words meant for the people of Isaiah’s time, followers of Christ have recognized Christ’s birth in Isaiah’s prophecy. It is not surprising that we believe that this prophecy was amazingly and universally fulfilled in Jesus.
What is amazing is that the prophecy speaks about a king ruling from David’s throne. David was a warrior king, conquering his enemies with force and ruling with the same grand displays and power-games that every human king has done. But, the way Jesus rules transforms the throne of a warrior king into a place of mercy and justice, peace and comfort. The names of this new ruler are not names that strike fear into the heart. They are names that welcome and inspire us, that reassure and encourage us. And the amazing thing about this new Reign is that nothing can ever destroy it. It can’t be conquered by armies or removed by a vote. Once it has taken root in a heart, its influence will always be felt, and its impact on the world will always continue.
In what ways has this new Ruler taken up residence on the throne of your heart? How do the names of Jesus listed in this prophecy challenge and inspire you? How can you live more intentionally as a citizen of this Reign this Christmas, and every day?
Prayer: It’s amazing God, how you can take the thrones of warrior kings and turn them into seats of gracious and just government. It’s wonderful how you redefine what Rulership looks like, and how you call yourself by names that invite us into your comfort, peace and love. As I celebrate the birth of Jesus – the Baby-God-Monarch – keep me always mindful of how it is Jesus who enables me to live as a citizen of your beautiful Reign. Amen.