Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Christmas Day reading from the Old Testament is from Isaiah 52. In verses 7-10 we find a promise. God comforts his people. He is mighty enough to do so. There’s a very close relationship in this text between God’s great power and his ability to bring comfort.
For some reason our world, at least a large and outspoken part of it, holds an opinion that having power is useful primarily for inflicting pain, to dominate, to oppress. Yet, in God’s kingdom, that power is mostly good for comfort. Does God threaten? Certainly. After all, those who are troubling his people, his kingdom, his creation, need to be stopped. Those who would accomplish everything by force will not stop unless met with adequate force to do so.
Here in Isaiah 52 we see God’s use of force is to comfort his people. It is to redeem Jerusalem. It is to raise high his salvation so all can see.
On Christmas we celebrate God’s great might and power. He is able to do all things by his power. He is even able to become a completely human baby who is quite helpless. God’s power is shown in that he could lay aside his throne of power and humble himself to become like one of us. His power is shown in that he would come to suffer and even die for our sin. By his great power he can crush the power of sin. There is great power and good news.
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