There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.
His delight is in the fear of the LORD,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;
But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD
As the waters cover the sea.
Three Sundays ago, we lit the Candle of Expectation, which reminds us that Christ was the One for whom the whole world had waited: the Messiah of Israel, the Redeemer of Mankind. As we longingly await His glorious return and the fulfillment of all God’s promises, we do so in hopeful expectation as His faithful people.
Two Sundays ago, we lit the Candle of Preparation, which reminds us that before the Advent of Christ, as Israel was being prepared for her promised Messiah, the whole world was being prepared for her expected Redeemer. As we prepare this Advent season, we prepare ourselves for His return.
Last Sunday, we lit the Candle of Celebration, which reminds us that, while we ready ourselves for Christmas day and ultimately for the return of Christ, there is reason to celebrate, for He is – even now – Emmanuel: God with us. He is not only our hope; He is also our joy and song.
Today, we light the Candle of Incarnation.
The Candle of Incarnation reminds us that the Word was indeed made flesh and dwelt among us. The Son of God did not simply appear to man and offer words of hope; no, the Son of God actually became also the Son of Man and offered Himself, the eternal Word, as our hope.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory. We beheld the glory of the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Let us celebrate, today, His first Advent as we ready ourselves for His second.
Tuesday 1 January 2013