2 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
They lived in a land of shadows,
but now light is shining on them.
3You have given them great joy, Lord;
you have made them happy.
They rejoice in what you have done,
as people rejoice when they harvest grain
or when they divide captured wealth.
4For you have broken the yoke that burdened them
and the rod that beat their shoulders.
You have defeated the nation
that oppressed and exploited your people,
just as you defeated the army of Midian long ago.
5The boots of the invading army
and all their bloodstained clothing
will be destroyed by fire.
6A child is born to us!
A son is given to us!
And he will be our ruler.
He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,”
“Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,”
“Prince of Peace.”
7 His royal power will continue to grow;
his kingdom will always be at peace.
He will rule as King David's successor,
basing his power on right and justice,
from now until the end of time.
The Lord Almighty is determined to do all this.
Reflection: Our passage today sings out the great elation of release, freedom and joy. It describes the end of war and slavery with dramatic images. Now a new Kingdom is established, through a child bringing peace, justice and righteousness, accomplished by the Lord of hosts. This passage is picked up by the gospel writers and applied directly to Jesus in Matthew 4:12-17 and the themes are picked up in Zechariah’s song (Luke 1:78-9).
Question: How do Jesus’ life, death and resurrection begin to accomplish the light and release described in this passage?
Prayer: Father, thank you for the joy of release and freedom. Thank you for the Lord Jesus’ kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness. Thank you that you are at work! Amen.
We are reading the Bible with Jessica Smith until 24th March.
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