have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
you expanded its joy.
Oh, they’re so glad in your presence! Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
as surprising and sudden as Gideon’s old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God, Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going with fair dealing and right living,
beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
will do all this.
John's vision in Revelation 12 recounts what might be called 'the not-so-nice Christmas Story', the Story that Reveals the covenant context and gory details of how Salvation was won for the People of God!
The Insurrection that was engendered through Mary had the outcome of providing a Resurrection for Israel!
Resurrection for Israel meant Resurrection for all the People of God, for we became One in Him ( Ephesians 1:10, 2:15 ). As Jesus' earthly mother boldly took a stand against the traditions of her day, so that birth enabled the People of God to stand again in defiance of the sin & the death which had held them in bondage for so long!
As we celebrate the birth of our Resurrection ( John 11:26 ) this year, let us ponder the question 'how shall we then live?' Should we not live our lives in honor and praise of what He did, not hoping for another outcome more appropriate to our vain imaginations, but reveling, living our lives in that blessed assurance that He HAS defeated death, that He IS ruling NOW, and that His Kingdom will have no end!
The answer to our question is, 'triumphantly'!
Thusly, we should live triumphantly, knowing that through Him we have been given the power to triumph over all our adversaries, and having done all, to stand!
Standing in Him,
Charles Haddon Shank