Monday, December 24, 2012

Hope Has Come!

Yesterday I went back to my home church, First Pres, for the first time in 18 months.  How wonderful to be with my faith family once again! 

One of the songs we sang is called No, Not One, and part of the chorus says,

“There will never be a greater love,
than Your Son, no, not one,
With His life You have forgiven us,
Hope has come, Hope has come...”

Later I went to a Spanish language church with my friend and ‘holiday sister’ Amy.  It was great – although kind of funny as the guest pastor was English-speaking, translated into Spanish!  I enjoyed seeing how much of the translator’s Spanish I could understand. 

Part of the pastor’s text was Isaiah 9:6, a verse we often hear at this time of year: 

For to 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.

But, he shared something I’d never heard before.  In the original Hebrew, the names of the promised Messiah combine both human and divine. 

The word Wonderful, he said, has divine connotations in the original language.  It means amazing, beyond our comprehension, nothing we’ve ever seen or could imagine.  A Counselor is a human term, a person who gives advice, counsel, guidance. 

Mighty in the original was used to describe human strength and power, and God, of course, is God. 

Everlasting is forever, eternal, without end, characteristics only the divine can have.  Each one of us has a human Father

A Prince is a human word, and Peace is shalom.  Although the pastor didn’t say this, I can never forget the Perspectives instructor who defined shalom as ‘nothing broken, nothing missing’.  Truly, that is something only divinely possible!

And so, 700 years before He came, God revealed that the Promised Messiah would be fully God (divine) and fully human. 

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love this!  The human and the divine meet together in Jesus.  

In Him, we have incomprehensible wonder combined with someone we can come to for help and guidance.  

We have God who helped remind us of the mighty strength humans can have when we live a life connected to Him.

We have a father who can make the promise to Never leave us, Never forsake us, because He is everlasting.  

We have a prince above all princes, whose coming makes possible perfect peace, when nothing is broken, nothing is missing.  

Truly, in Christ, in Christ alone, hope has come!  Hope has come!!

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