Prepare to Listen. (If using, light all the purple and pink Advent candles.) Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.
Prayerfully Read Isaiah 9:6-7
6For 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.
7His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onwards and for evermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
A child is born, a son is given unto us. For Christians this “text decisively pertains to Jesus, who is the great light in darkness.” It brings comfort and joy and assurance in these troubled times because “authority rests upon his shoulders.” Or, as in Handel’s version, “the government shall be upon his shoulders” (KJV).
The child’s birth signifies a change in Ruler. Move over earthly kings and rulers. All authority to rule is now invested in the Son born unto us. Even his names, made familiar in Handel’s Messiah, underscore his power and authority. Jesus, the Messiah is the ultimate Ruler in charge of all creation, all people, all nations. His chief concerns, and what he came to establish on earth, are endless peace, justice and righteousness. These must be the chief concerns of all those who claim to follow Jesus. We must promote these principles for all peoples, not merely an elite few who share our beliefs. When we do we demonstrate to the world that we trust Jesus fully and submit to his decisions for our lives and world.
Unto us Jesus, our Messiah came and keeps coming in our daily lives. Because authority rests on his shoulders, he can order the world according to God’s endless peace, justice and righteousness. Therefore, this Christmas Eve we rejoice and sing and trust the Lord.
What caught your attention in these familiar words?
Lord, I desire to live in simple faith, trusting your decisions and rule, and not intervening with my own ideas. Amen.
Live obediently. He came unto us to rule. Live in faith and don’t intervene.
 Brueggemann, W. Isaiah 1-39. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998, p. 85.