Our reading today is not just about the great benefits of God’s transforming presence in our lives. The reading talks about our response to the blessings we have received. There is no doubt that this season has become one of the greatest economic engines for many businesses in our society. The primary emotion that rules this time of year is excitement (or sadness) over what “we get” for Christmas. The “spirit of Christmas” that Isaiah suggests is exactly the opposite. We are not the central theme in the Christmas season: it is the fact that God is with us and, for that reason, we should shout and sing for joy! (v.6)
The picture painted by today’s reading is a startling juxtaposition to the prevailing attitudes of our day. Too many of us are influenced by forces that want to sell us their version of the perfect “gift” — the one we are told is what everyone wants this Christmas. They say, if we get that gift, we will rejoice!
That 21stcentury understanding of what being joyful is all about is in stark contrast to Isaiah’s understanding. The gift we receive this Christmas comes straight from Heaven, it is the greatest gift ever given to humanity. We will not only rejoice but we will:
- Make known his deeds among the people (v4b)
- Proclaim His influence as the all-powerful God (v4c)
- Sing praise that declares His works over all the earth (v5)
- Enthusiastically rejoice that God has shown up in obvious ways (v6)
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Lord, get my priorities straight this Christmas. Move me from a getting attitude to a giving attitude. Please!!!!!
2 “Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.