Advent 2022 — December 5

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.
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:2-7

“Sermon on Christmas”[1] by Augustine of Hippo

He, through whom time was made, was made in time; and He, older by eternity than the world itself, was younger in age than many of His servants in the world.

He, who made man, was made man; He was given existence by a mother whom He brought into existence; He was carried in hands which He formed; He nursed at breasts which He filled; He cried like a babe in the manger in speechless infancy – this Word without which human eloquence is speechless!

Application & Challenge

For some people, the Christmas season is full – full of family, friends, joy, activity, and so on. But, for others, it feels empty. If we have the hope that comes from faith in Jesus, we know what it is to have “walked in darkness” and the hope that comes from having “seen a great light” – we know what it is to receive “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10).

Pick at least one of the following ways to reach out to those who need the Light shined in their lives:

  • Send a Christmas card with a hand-written note to someone who needs some encouragement or who may be feeling alone. Include a Bible verse to point them to Jesus.
  • Call or text someone who has lost a loved one over the past year. Let them know you love them and that Jesus loves them, too. If they feel like sharing, listen more than you talk.

[1] St. Augustine, Thomas Comerford Lawler (translator, editor), Sermons for Christmas and Epiphany (The Newman Press: Mahwah, NJ, 1952).

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