Tuesday, December 2, 2008

". . . glory to the newborn King"

"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."
(isaiah 9.6 tniv)

for our family devotions, we have been reading the big picture story bible. we like it because it helps us think about the traditional Bible stories we read to kids in terms of what God was going to do and did through Christ's birth. from the time that we read about david being crowned king, we have been waiting for the forever King that God promised would come from david's line. every time we read about a good King, we wonder if he is God's forever King. when the people of israel are taken into exile, we wonder if God will keep his promise for a forever King.

isaiah gives a picture of what to expect from this forever king. this verse is so familiar, something we read on christmas cards or hear read at some point during advent. have you ever thought about the apparent contradiction that isaiah describes? how can a son be born who will also be "mighty God"? how can a "forever King" be a newborn?

with the birth of Christ, God gave the world exactly what it needed. Someone divine, perfect in every way and, at the same time, someone who is able truly to be "with us" because he is one of us. what better way could there be for us to experience "God with us" than to have someone just like us reveal God to us.

when the angels announce the birth of a "newborn King" they announce a reign that will be like no other. the question then becomes, have we allowed this King to reign over our lives? while we may wrestle with the idea of relinquishing control ourselves, isaiah makes it plain that we place ourselves in the best possible hands when we let Jesus be King over our lives. take some time today to think about the areas that you need to let Christ reign over your life.

"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."

(isaiah 9.6-8 the message)

for the kids: ask your kids to think about what it would be like to be a king or queen. what decisions would they make? who would they ask for help? would they like having that kind of power? talk to them about what it meant for Jesus to be born a King. even as a tiny baby, he was carrying out God's purposes. even as a tiny baby, he was the best King we could ever have. for a project, cut out a baby shape and wrap its body with white crepe paper for swaddling clothes. cut out and decorate a crown for the baby to wear to remember our newborn King.

No comments: