STEALING CHRISTMAS-TAKE 2:OVERCOMING DOUBT
Merry Christmas! We live in a world that is increasingly confusing. The confusion presents itself in amazingly simple ways, for example; do we say “Merry Christmas”, or “Happy Holidays?” We wonder, especially during this pandemic and the election process, what we can truly trust. 2020 has given us a lot of uncertainty as well as confusion and the companion of these two realities is doubt. Doubt can lead us to believe that nothing is trustworthy or true, especially the Christmas story! In our sermon series, Stealing Christmas, Take 2, the sermon is Overcoming Doubt. One of the great affirmations of the coming Messiah is Isaiah 9:1-7. We often see these verses during this time of year: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:5-6, NIV) We are tempted to believe that the people of Isaiah’s time were not struggling with the same issues that we are today, but this is not the case. The words that define this passage are in the first verse, “The people walking in the darkness of confusing anguish…” (Isaiah 9:1). These people were so perplexed and confused, they could see no way out! This is where we have been traveling in 2020. God wants to lead us to a path of greater faith which will give us a clear vision of hope, joy, peace, and love. As you read Isaiah 9:1-7, may you sense the Prince of Peace reigning supreme in your heart and life! Isaiah 9:1-7: Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan– 2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.