“The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.” (Isaiah 9:2)
We pilgrims, us who have lost our way and now walk in darkness — hope is here. We lonely, us who gave up and decided to dwell in the land of the shadow of death — hope is here. We sinners, us who have fallen and are unable to get up — hope is here. Emmanuel, God with us. He is here.
Breathe now, beloved. That flicker of light increasing in your soul, that spark of warmth growing in your heart. Breathe now, let them grown. He is right here, He is here with us.
“You have multiplied the nation
And increased its joy;
They rejoice before You
According to the joy of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For You have broken the yoke of his burden
And the staff of his shoulder,
The rod of his oppressor,
As in the day of Midian.
For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,
And garments rolled in blood,
Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.” (Isaiah 9:3-5)
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
For unto us a Child is born, this helpless babe who came to suffer for our sins. Savior come in the likeness of men, the Son of God forsaken by God and crucified so that we might come to His perfection in all our imperfections. God incarnate, bowed down low to meet us where we are. Our Prince of Peace, laid in a manger when we had no room for Him. A Light to reveal God to the nations, our Mighty God wrapped in swaddling clothes, and the whole of heaven humbled down as He came to save us from ourselves.
Rest now, beloved — the battle is over, the battle has been won. The yoke of the burden has been broken, the rod of our oppressor has been broken. Glory came down, our Love divine shown to us by the sign of the star. Great joy is here, now. So let us rejoice, let us praise the One deserving all the praise. Let us trust the One called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace — knowing that this is what He is: not just names, but every single name full of meaning, pointing us to our gracious Lord.