2nd Sunday of Advent
Read Isaiah 9:1-7
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. These will be his royal titles: "Wonderful," :Counselor," "The Mighty God," "The Everlasting Father," "The Prince of Peace." His ever-expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule with perfect fairness and justice from the throne of his father David. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world. This is going to happen because the Lord of heaven's armies has dedicated himself to it! Isiah 9:6-7 (TLB)
"Glory to God in the highest heaven," they sang, "and peace on earth for all those pleasing him."
Luke 2:14 (TLB)
In Sri Lanka, the island nation where S. Thevanesan, from New York, was born, Christmas is celebrated by all people regardless of their back-ground or religion. When we read Luke 2:14, we see that no one is excluded. Christmas is an invitation to everyone to hear the good news of Jesus' birth.
Long before the first Christmas, Jesus' birth was predicted by the prophet Isaiah. and in Matthew 1:23 we read that in fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, Jesus is to be called Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." In these scary and confusing times, the word Emmanuel resonates powerfully in S. Thevanesan's soul. God is with us all!
Christmas offers us a time to focus on the nature of God, the goodness of creation, the sacredness of all people, and the ways the holy and the secular mingle. God is with us on joy and sorrow, in poverty and wealth, in waking and in sleeping. God makes us merry, bears our pain, keeps our peace, and reconciles us. God is truly with us always.
Prayer: Eternal God, thank you for giving us Emmanuel, a reminder of your everlasting presence. Help us to see you in every part of creation in this holy season, in Jesus' name. amen.