“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV

A spectacular sunrise makes me expect that a wonderful day will follow.

There are more than 50 prophesies of the coming Messiah, Jesus, in the Old Testament. Some scholars say there are as many as 300! In expectation of Christmas, we are going to look at Isaiah’s prophesies. A little history, Isaiah spoke to God’s people before and perhaps even during the Babylonian exile. This was a terrible time for Jerusalem, the destruction of the city and the temple and the exile of thousands.

But Isaiah also gives hope. A child, a son will be given and the government will be on his shoulders. He also gives the child names that typically describe God.  In chapter 7, Isaiah says that “the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son” who will be called, “Immanuel,” God with us. Isaiah’s prophesies were written over 700 years before Jesus’ birth. With these and other Old Testament prophesies, God’s people are expecting a great ruler, someone to conquer their enemies, restore their power and give them peace.

But God’s plan was even more wonderful for them, and for us. God’s Son, the Messiah, the Christ came as a baby, born in a stable, in a small insignificant town,  and laid in a manger. He came as the humblest of humans, not as a conquering, god-like king. He came to be Immanuel, to be sacrificed for our sins, to defeat death in His resurrection, to restore our relationship with God the Father, and to be the Savior of the world.

This month we wait expectantly as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior. Let’s all make a special effort to be thankful, to praise Father God for His magnificent gift, to renew our wonder and joy of Christmas, and to share the love of God and the hope we have in that baby born so long ago in a manger.

I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we wait patiently and expectantly to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Blessings and the hope and joy of Christmas!

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