Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for many reasons. And one of those reasons is that Christmas allows us to take stock of the many blessings that we have right in front of us and look to the future with hope of what is to come.
Some of us are here today and we say life is good. We have health and family and we anticipate a wonderful Christmas celebration. Others are here to today and say that life is not fair, it’s too hard. Instead of a celebration, you anticipate ongoing pain at Christmas. And then there are those of us that have become fairly cynical about the whole thing. The society goes to and fro like the waves of the seashore. People seem more distant and self-centered than ever. And so we’ll go through the motions of Christmas while quietly thinking to ourselves, Is there any hope for the world?
How is it that we can sing “Joy to the World” and “Tidings of Comfort and Joy”? Those of us who struggle are much closer to where the nation of Israel was during the middle of Isaiah’s days. Then God spoke through the prophet and gave them the hope that they needed.
Isaiah 42 was directed toward the nation of Israel as they were in exile under the reign of King Cyrus. They were a people dominated by another nation. They were enslaved to another king. As they looked at the world they were asking questions like: Is there any hope? Why is God so far away? How is God going to make this right?
Now, we can’t imagine what it would be like to live in exile, in slavery, under the rule of a foreign king. But we can relate to the questions that are being asked. When the situation of the world around you seems to be out of control, we tend to ask these same questions: ...
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