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.

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority will rest upon his shoulders, and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

(Isaiah 9:2, 6)

Prophetic Words of Hope

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light

These words from the prophet Isaiah are often read on Christmas Eve. The prophet announces the coming Messiah who will be born a child, but have all authority and bring peace, justice and righteousness.

He wrote to a people living in “deep darkness” and gives them hope that the darkness will lift when the Messiah comes.

Darkness from Without and Within

The darkness comes from without and within. From without, the people of God were threatened by the Assyrians. From within the kingdom, Isaiah predicts judgement by God because of their disobedience, inattention to justice, and idolatry.

Isaiah’s words ring as true for us today as they did for his audience. There is great darkness in the world. We see the threats from without and within. There is great violence in the world and peace seems impossible.

Peace, Righteousness, and Hope

The Church struggles to stay faithful to God. Many feel hopeless about the future.

But to us, a son has been born, the Messiah has come. Jesus was born a baby in Bethlehem 2000 years ago and has brought in his Kingdom, where there is peace, righteousness and hope.

Living “Between the Times”

His kingdom has come spiritually, but has not yet been fulfilled in the physical realm. And we look with hope to his second coming, when he will establish his kingdom on earth and we will see our prayers answered for things to be “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Until that day, we live “between the times”, the time between Jesus’ first and second coming. A time where there is still great darkness, but there is also great hope.

We know Messiah Jesus and have been transferred into his kingdom where there is joy and peace. And he has sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to be his witnesses and be about his work, until he returns in glory.

Peace and Blessings in the New Year

This Christmas we pray that you would know Messiah Jesus! That you would know the one who is wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and prince of peace. And that he would bless you with peace and joy as you walk with him in this new year!

Merry Christmas from the staff of PRMI!

PRMI staff photo 2016

Mary Ellen Conners, Brad Long, Cindy Strickler, Chris Walker, Suzi Gibbs, Martin Boardman, Jeanne Kraak

 

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