Isaiah said, ‘For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given’ (9:6). This morning, after struggling though traffic that was complicated by the first rain in over 40 days, I am struck by the simple word ‘us.’ We live in such a ‘me’, ‘my’ and ‘I’ world; you know, “get out of my way – I have somewhere to go!”
It is easy for me to adopt the position that ‘Jesus is my Savior’, or ‘Jesus came to save me’ – when in fact He came to save ‘us.’ The designated category called ‘us’ includes me, my family, my friends – it includes you – but it also includes distant and exotic people groups. It includes all of those who are reached by the missionaries that we support. It includes the precious girls of Northern Thailand and the children of Rancho Los Amigos. It includes college students in Hungary and reindeer people in Mongolia.
And it includes angry Somali refugees who drive their cars into college students in Ohio, and ISIS terrorists who would destroy us if given the chance. They are all a part of the ‘us’ spoken of by Isaiah. The thought makes us squirm just a bit doesn’t it?
When we open our minds to the thought of ‘them’ being a part of ‘us’ we also open ourselves to the power of God changing the world that we live in. Did you know that Christianity is the fastest growing religion in Iran? That tens of thousands of mainland Chinese accept Jesus every day? That Muslims all over the Middle East are being introduced to Jesus through dreams and visions?
Isaiah spoke in order to provide hope – and his words still do.
Merry Christmas to all of us!