Advent 14: Psalm 29,30 & Isaiah 9:1-7

From Andrew Truschel

This has been an Advent of cognitive dissonance for me. I’ve always looked forward to Christmas for a variety of reasons – time with my family, time off from work & school, gifts, my aunt’s Christmas cookies!, etc. – but those things all seem a bit trivial in light of the terrible events of the past few months. The terrorist attacks in Paris, continued racial violence committed by law enforcement, and hateful statements made by a certain presidential candidate have turned a season that is usually filled with joy into a time of darkness and frustration.

As today’s passage from Isaiah reminds us, however, this is the exact sort of cultural depression that Jesus was born in to. Israel, having experienced exile, wilderness, and unfulfilled desires & expectations, were beaten down and hopeless. To these people, Isaiah 9:2 proclaims that “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” Thousands of years later, this passage remains as relevant as ever!

Christmas is my favorite time in the Church calendar because it reminds me that God is not far off, distant from the pain of the world or my own life; He has always seen that pain and been grieved by it and, when the time was right, He drew near and addressed it fully in Jesus. Verses 6 & 7 of Isaiah 9 remind us that the child that will be born is the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace whose government of righteousness and justice will increase forever. Even as we continue to struggle with the sin and darkness that persists in and around us, thanks be to God that He has conquered pain and death in Christ and is coming again to make all things new!

I live in Dorchester, work in Harvard’s IT department, and occasionally strum stringed instruments with the CotC worship team. I’d love to talk to you about why Vince Guaraldi’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the best album of all time.