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Unto Us...A Child, A Son
December 5, 2007
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
A child is coming, and it's a boy. Hope fills the air as expectations rise in anticipation of a life pregnant with possibility. For the people of God, this promise of a coming Messiah meant deliverance.
Isaiah faithfully declared the Word of the Covenant Lord. Israel would know the judgment of God with Assyria as His instrument. The king refused to heed Isaiah's two signs, two sons, one whose name meant "a remnant will return," and one whose name meant "the spoil hastens, the prey speeds." The people turned away from God's Word. The few who followed it were to "bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples" so as to preserve it for a time when the people would listen.
Those who stood with God were to sanctify the LORD of hosts Himself and let Him be their fear and dread; for He would be for a sanctuary to them, a stone of stumbling and rock of offense to Israel, and a snare to Jerusalem. (Is. 8.14) Those who did not heed degenerated, even to consulting the dead for direction. Distress came as the people slid into helplessness and darkness, facing major struggles as those hard-pressed, famished, blasphemous, looking to the earth, and knowing only anguish.
And yet, Isaiah holds out hope. "Nevertheless the dimness shall not be…the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." (Isaiah 9.1, 2) God will bring them out of their gloom to know gladness because He will bring them out of bondage into a place of peace. He will provide a Deliverer, a Messiah.
For unto us a child is born,
Unto us a son is given:
And the government shall be upon his shoulder:
And his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Unto us, a son is given. In ancient Hebrew the pictograph for son shows a tent and a sprouting seed. (nb)) It means "the continuing of the house." The tent was constructed of woven goat hair panels, which weakened over time and needed replacement. Women made new panels to replace worn ones, and so the tent essentially lasts forever. Just as the tent panels keep the tent going, sons are born to the family to continue the family line. The family is continually being renewed, thus the connection between son, house, building, and family.
Through a son born, Israel would find both freedom from the yoke of oppression and the provision of peace. This son would rule the kingdom of David, ordering it and establishing it with judgment and with justice. Of the increase of his government there shall be no end, his rule extending beyond the horizon, forever. Unlike those who exercise power so as to cause their subjects to carry them on their shoulders, this son born will carry his subjects on his shoulders. He is both yoke-breaker and burden-bearer.
The light has shined into the darkness, the revelation of a son given. This son would be the Messiah. He would be born of a virgin and would deliver His people from the contempt of God and the consequences of sin. He would bring joy and gladness, peace and provision.
Unto us a child is born. Jesus Christ was conceived, born, suffered, died, raised, and ascended for us. He is the Son given for us. We are to take Him unto ourselves, make Him our Lord, the head of our family. When the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, it was for us. When in the fullness of time, Christ was born of a woman, born under the law, it was for us. He is a sign, for us, the Prince of Peace for those on whom God's favor rests.
To Mary the angel came with the good news. "Fear not, Mary. For you have found favor with God. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and shall call his name, Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1.30-33) How? "The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1.35) With God, no rhema word is impossible.
To us this Son is given. Martin Luther, in his sermon on Isaiah 9.6, says: "That is why Isaiah says, 'To us a child is born, to us a son is given.' It is like when women [approach a baby's cradle and] say, 'Oh, a baby! What is it?' And I answer, 'It's a boy-and he's ours!' What an incredible thing to say, that all of us should somehow be the mothers of one whom we have not carried [in our womb]! He is given to us as though he were our own son. How proud and honored we are that he is our son, that he belongs to us. But it is not enough that he is 'born' to us; he is also 'given' to us. What does 'given' mean? He is a [pure] gift, a present. There is nothing I have to give or pay in return. Woe to the godless and ungrateful world that disdains this gift." (Martin Luther, December 25, 1531)
Celebrate the gift of the promised Child Jesus this year. Let the anticipation of the Light that shines into your darkness, a Life pregnant with possibilities, fill you with hope and direct you to follow the straight path. Do not stumble upon Him as a stone, but take Him into your heart as the cherished gift of Love that He is.
Saturday, December 8th, we have a Barnabas Project distribution of toys, school supplies, household goods, clothing, etc. in Homestead, Florida. Please help us as we remember the forgotten. December 16th we take the gospel to the streets during our 13th annual Christmas Caroling event, putting Bibles into homes and sharing Christ. 2008 takes us into Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Israel, Jordan, and Egypt for world missions, God willing.
Christmas is the season of giving as we celebrate God's gift to us. We thank you for your generous gifts to MCM. Whether your heart leans toward Craighouse®, the Barnabas Project, evangelism, MCM media, Home Visitation Ministry, MCM mercy ministries, or MCM world missions, your gifts demonstrate the love Christ has put in your hearts.
Bringing good tidings of great joy,
P.S. Go to www.marycraig.org. Order books from our Catalog section, using PayPal Worship with us 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Grow and flourish in small group ministry at Craighouse®, located in the Pompano Plaza at 114 E. McNab Road, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. Log on to www.craighouse.org for a map and more events and Bible studies. Reach MCM at 954-491-7270. Send in your prayer requests. .
For unto you is
born this day
In the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the Babe
Wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
Praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
Good will toward men. Luke 2.11-14
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