Advent greetings to you all!
For this week’s devotion, take some time to read this breathtaking passage about Emmanuel from the prophet Isaiah. Then, even if you know the song well (maybe you’ve played it 100 times), listen to the worship tune “God With Us” by All Sons & Daughters. Finally, read Isaiah 9:2-7 one more time from “The Message” and end your time of reflection in some (probably much needed) quiet prayer. Listen for the Lord to speak to you as you reflect on this beautiful mystery: God is with us, He is Emmanuel.
READ, WORSHIP, READ, PRAY:
“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire. For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”
Isaiah 9:2-7 NLT
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. For those who lived in a land of deep shadows— light! Sunbursts of light! You repopulated the nation, you expanded its joy. Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy! The joy of a great celebration, sharing rich gifts and warm greetings. The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants— all their whips and cudgels and curses— Is gone, done away with, a deliverance as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian. The boots of all those invading troops, along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood, Will be piled in a heap and burned, a fire that will burn for days! For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. He’ll rule from the historic David throne over that promised kingdom. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going With fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. The zeal of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies will do all this.”
Isaiah 9:2-7 MSG
TAKE TIME TO PRAY, LISTENING FOR THE LORD AND HOW HE MIGHT QUIETLY SPEAK THROUGH THESE SCRIPTURES, IMAGES FROM THE STORY, OR IN THE PEACE OF HIS QUIET VOICE.