Embrace the SonPublished 11:11am Tuesday, December 24, 2013
“The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined. (Isaiah 9:2 NKJV)
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end.” (Isaiah 9: 6-7 NKJV)
We are living in some tough times. Many would swear we are already in the “end times.” All around us the church is faced with tribulation like we have never known before.
We are now living in a world that for the first time is similar (if not worse!) to the pagan world that the apostle Paul dealt with so many centuries ago. The world we see before us continues to grow more hateful each day and darkness tries to overthrow our joy.
So it was when the remnant of Judah was taken into captivity so many years ago. The Babylonians destroyed the holy city of Jerusalem, destroyed the holy temple of God and took the people into captivity.
Once in captivity they lost their freedom and liberty. They saw no way out. They had to bow down and worship the tyrant known as King Nebuchadnezzar. The people became enslaved to the government.
Wow! Does that sound familiar? The church is living in a day and time when each liberty of freedom is slowly being pulled out from under us. We live in a day when the tyranny of our government is robbing us one blessing at a time.
We are being forced to either give in to what the liberal worldly views dictate or be labeled as hate groups because we do not choose to compromise our principals or turn away from our values.
Our biblical beliefs and statements of faith are being challenged by those who tell us that scriptures have now taken on “a new meaning.” The world informs us that we need to say “Happy Holidays” because some people are extremely offended by our joyful “Merry Christmas!”
The prophet Isaiah has a message of hope that is just as powerful and to the point as it was to that group of Hebrew people that were taken into captivity. Despite that we are walking in a great darkness, a light so bright has now shined down upon us.
One of my favorite Christmas songs that we sing on Christmas Eve at Cedarwood Community Church is “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.” The hymn writer states, “O beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on.” Are you aware that the light is still beaming, even today?
“For unto us a child is born!” That’s what the entire message is all about! That despite the fact that the world around us is in constant darkness, a baby is born in a manger who will bring peace and goodwill to all mankind!
Experience the light this Christmas! Embrace the Son! For his kingdom is eternal, everlasting and there is no end!
Rev. Roger Olsen is pastor at Cedarwood Community Church in Wallsboro.