“A Child is Born!”
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NRSV)
6 For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Could you hardly imagine when the family heard the news? Another child has been born into the family. What a great and unusual gift! We all seem to share the excitement when a child is born. It gives us some hope about the world. This is true for us when we revisit the Christmas story each year. A similar text of these words is set to music from Handel's choral work, the Messiah. This music is probably one of the most recognizable sections of music to words people know because of the work of Handel. You might have heard it in your head when you were reading this article?
We have begun to recognize this as a part of the Christmas season. Yes, it is a joyous season, and we need to celebrate it appropriately. However, I think we get "stuck" with Jesus just being a baby. We keep Jesus as a baby because he is cute and doesn't challenge us in our faith and relationships. Everyone is glad that Jesus is here, and proclamations are made everywhere, even from heaven. But we need to remember that Jesus does eventually grow up and challenges us and our faith "to be better.”
So, how can you be better this Christmas? “Be better” about familial relationships. “Be better” about living out your faith to the people around you. These are not easy things, and God calls all of us "to be better" in our lives as Christians. So, how can you “be better?”
“One reason the concept of becoming better can scare us is that it requires us to step out of a place that we recognize and have possibly grown comfortable with.”
-Sara Milne Rowe, The SHED Method: Making Better Choices When It Matters