Friday, 6 December 2013

Friday - Advent 1 - Peace and wholeness

Prayer:  Emmanuel,  be with those people who still walk in the darkness and have not seen Your light.  May those who walk in darkness see the light of the Christ Child born for them this year.   God with us,  You overcome the darkness so that we may clearly see the way to walk along Your path,  the truth to speak for You,  and the life to live for You.   You have come,  You are coming,  You will come again.  Emmanuel.


Read  Isaiah  9: 2-7


In this prophecy,  Isaiah tells the people that there will be a child born who will bring the light and love of God into their midst.   Peace will reign in the land.  


It will be through the birth of a child that the people walking in darkness have seen a great light.   And what kind of a child will this be?  The government will be upon his shoulders… he will be called Wonderful Counselor,  Mighty God,  Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,  he will bring peace and wholeness to all peoples.    This is quite a prophecy.    How would we react today if  the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada said that through a birth of a baby,  the world will live in peace?     We would kinda scoff at the statement wouldn’t we.     Yet we know the rest of the story.  It is through the birth of a baby,  the Son of God,   that our sins are forgiven.  Wow!


This portion of scripture is frequently used in Advent worship and in Christmas Lessons and Carols Worship.     For us here today,  we look back at this scripture and say, “This was prophecying the birth of our Saviour”.  


We also hear this portion of scripture in Georg Frederick Handel’s  Oratorio called “The Messiah”.   Charles Jennings was the person who chose the scriptures for Georg Frederick Handel’s  “Messiah”.      Jennings chose scriptures that told of the life of Christ,  from prophecy such as here in Isaiah to the Gospels.   For Jennings,  this portion of Isaiah was important for those who listened to the “Messiah”  to hear this prophecy.    


What about us today?   When we read this portion of scripture,  what do we think?   Do we rejoice that the Christ Child was born to bring peace into the world?   And we take this portion of scripture  one step further.   Knowing that we are the hands of Christ,  how will we bring about peace and wholeness to our Church and our community this day?   Nelson Mandela was one man who brought about peace and wholeness to a whole nation.   We weep with sadness that his earthly life is gone but we rejoice with joy that now he is with God.    Nelson Mandela brought peace and wholeness to a whole nation.  Can we do any less this Advent?


Prayer:   Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,    Everlasting Father,  Prince of Peace You bring peace into our world.   You bring peace into our Churches.  You bring peace into our lives.   We rejoice this time of Advent and in the stillness we can see the peace You have brought to the world.   This day,  Emmanuel, we are Your voice.  Enable us to bring peace and wholeness to our Church and our community so that the world may know Your peace and joy and love.   Allelujah  Emmanuel.  Amen.

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