As I have continued working on Isa 8:21-9:7 I have been intrigued by the question: “What difference would it make if there was no Christmas, no birth of Christ?” An astronomer friend of mine gave me a recent paper he had written on ten reasons why the moon is important for life on earth. It’s a dense scientific paper and full of interest. But as I read his list of reasons why the moon is essential for life on earth….I pondered what goes on the list about Christmas being essential?
Does Sunday’s theme of OT prophecy help me answer: “What difference would it make if there was no Christmas, no birth of Christ?” Yes! The more you look at the contrast between darkness and light, the more you want to emphasize one major difference if there was no Christmas is that God’s story would be stuck in the Old Testament in the dark. When people have turned their backs on God they ‘see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into outer darkness’ (Isa. 8:22).
Tragically, the next famous promise of Isa. 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light” would be unfulfilled. No child is born, there is no wonderful counselor, no Prince of peace. No kingdom of justice and righteousness. There would be no light, no hope. No one will say the words: "I am the Light of the World, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
Tragically, for many people God’s story has never come alive. Actually, they are stuck in the darkness and unaware of the profound importance to life on earth that the Light has come in Christ. See the wonder of this prophecy in Isa. 9:1-7 uttered around 700 years before the first Christmas yet FULFILLED gloriously in Christ’s coming for us to have the light of life. I am preparing a sermon with enthusiasm!