In this season, we not only remember the accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew and Luke; we remember the soaring prophecy that Christians believe foretold the birth of the Christ child.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, NIV)
The meaning of this birth is further explained by the beautiful, almost magical, language in Isaiah 11:6: “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”
This prophecy has combined with the birth of Jesus to establish the ultimate hope of mankind for over two thousand years. But peace and justice and righteousness have not prevailed — not yet. Enemies — wolf and lamb, leopard and goat, calf and lion and yearling, and people — are not living together in peace but in war. We still believe, however, that a little child will lead us. We still believe that the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish what is written.
We now turn to the only book of prophecy in the New Testament, whether we believe it to be the literal description or a metaphorical account of the end of time. And we say this Christmas, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20) Come and establish your kingdom of peace and justice and righteousness. Come into our hearts. Lead us.