First United Presbyterian Church

The Birth Announcement

Isaiah 9:2-7

2 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. 6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

We all love to receive birth announcements. It is exciting to see the baby’s full name, day of birth, length, and weight with a sweet little picture.

The birth announcement in the scripture reading arrived 742 years before the actual birth. And there was no prediction of when the birth would actually take place. A man named Isaiah was sent by God to tell the people of Judah this prophecy. At that time, they were divided from Israel, and close to civil war. They needed to know if God was with them and good things were on the way.

Thankfully, we live 2,000 years after his birth and now celebrate it every year at Christmas. His life gave us examples of how to live with a servant’s heart. His death forgave our sin past, present, and future.  At the end of time, he will reign over heaven and earth forever and ever.

When anxiously awaiting for a savior to come… look at the names given to Jesus in this passage “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace” How would/does that make you feel? (pause while you think on that for a moment)

While anxieties can always run high this time of year for many reasons, I always look to Philippians 4:6-7 6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I’ll admit, sometimes I must force myself to stop… take a moment to slow myself down and especially my thoughts.  It is when I spend this time in prayer, that my peace is restored. Then looking back to Isaiah 9: 7 “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.”  How can we be anxious when we give our troubles to the Lord?  Have hope for the coming days, weeks, and years for the Lord is with you forevermore.

If you’re able, I suggest taking a reflective moment to listen to “Messiah”, composed by George Frederic Handel in 1741. Part of this work is presented in the video at the top of this post, but it’s worth listening to the whole thing!

My prayer: Come Lord Jesus come, come quickly and establish your reign forever and ever with us for eternity. Amen

Contributed by Leigh Woodruff.

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