Excited for Christmas? | Adam Smith (Family Carols)

Isaiah 40:1-5

Prepare for God’s Arrival

1-2 “Comfort, oh comfort my people,”
    says your God.
“Speak softly and tenderly to Jerusalem,
    but also make it very clear
That she has served her sentence,
    that her sin is taken care of—forgiven!
She’s been punished enough and more than enough,
    and now it’s over and done with.”
3-5 Thunder in the desert!
    “Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road straight and smooth,
    a highway fit for our God.
Fill in the valleys,
    level off the hills,
Smooth out the ruts,
    clear out the rocks.
Then God’s bright glory will shine
    and everyone will see it.
    Yes. Just as God has said.”

(The Message)


Summary

Excitement!

Isaiah 40

Isaiah the prophet was pretty excited in this part of his prophecy – looking forward to the time when the ‘glory of the Lord will be revealed and all people will see it together’. So the preparations were to be made. The potholes filled in and the hills levelled off to make a straight path for God’s arrival.

There’s plenty of excitement building up to Christmas, especially among children, the lure of all those presents to unwrap being one big reason to get excited. But other people hold back, because they don’t want to build up expectations only to be disappointed.

As Christians, we can’t be disappointed by Christmas because we are focusing on the birth of the Son of God, and preparing ourselves to relive that unique moment in history. As part of our preparation, we try to fill in the ‘potholes’ in our own lives and clear some of the rubbish that’s been getting in the way.

And looking round us at the brokenness of our world, we are excited by the promise we have that Jesus will come again. One of our carols tells of the time when at last the whole world will sing the song of the angels. Another reminds us that Jesus grew up, was killed and rose again, so that ‘we no more may die’.

As for those who are not sure how this story of a baby born 2000 years ago can impact their lives today – where will you look for a solution to the world’s brokenness, where fear and rage, greed and lust for power seem to have the upper hand? It must surely be worth exploring the claims your Christian friends are making, and the reason for their excitement. Happy Christmas!

Adam Smith