Theme: Making Room for Hope

Written by Rev. Ara Guekguezian, Community United Church of Christ

Isaiah 9:1-7

“For a child has been born for us.”

The birth of a child, any child, brings a spark of hope. The birth of the heir to the throne, the ruler, starts a fire of hope in an entire people. This poem of Isaiah sings of this hope in the birth of the heir to the throne of David. It underscores the Promise of the Davidic covenant for a despondent people. “But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish.” The Prophet has my attention.

Every winter, as the nights lengthen, the light shining from this great word brightens my world. The lights of the Church shine brighter through the month of December. More evening activity, especially more special worship throughout the season of Advent.

Life is sweeter in just hearing these words, before any one of them is fulfilled. All the bad things are destroyed, consumed by fire. And every good thing will be ushered in with the new ruler, once the ruler grows into the role. Power, Justice, Peace Forever! For a moment it is all good.

Christmas allows us an extended moment of relief for the ordinary stresses of our lives. As we celebrate the fulfillment of this promise during the extended season of Advent, our trust in the new Promise of the end of the age with the return of Jesus is strengthened.

Prayer: It has been awhile, O God of the Covenant. There are moments when our hope ebbs, when the promise seems false. The gloom settles in, because the reality before gives rise to anguish. May the Spirit renew in us trust in the Promise of the new age ushered in by the birth of Jesus. Amen.