Friday, December 20, 2019 Isaiah 9:1-71 But there will be no gloom for those who were in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness - on them light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Reflection:Today we begin to “peek ahead” to some of the readings that characterize the fourth week of Advent and we rejoice in God’s fulfillment of his promise to deliver his people and save them from their sins. On this side of the Resurrection we can look back and see how Jesus fulfilled this promise at his birth, but it wasn’t so clear to the people of Isaiah’s time. In fact, centuries after Isaiah, Jesus' followers weren’t quite clear on the timing of his second advent. After Jesus’ death and resurrection many of his followers assumed and longed for an immediate fulfillment of God’s promise. We are not so different; we often want God to fulfill his promises now, in this life, or maybe even this hour. Yet sometimes he waits, just as Jesus is also waiting to return. Patience is still required on our part, but as we wait, we can rejoice in the reminder from Isaiah that there is already some fulfillment of God’s promises in Christ, because he is:-Wonderful Counselor, who leads the way when we don't know where to go. (John 10:3-4)-Almighty God, in whom we can trust when we feel powerless, because all things are possible with Him. (Mark 10:27)-Everlasting Father, in whose everlasting arms we can rest when we feel weary. (Deuteronomy 33:27)-Prince of Peace: Who gives us "peace at all times in every way" (2 Thessalonians 3:16).