Scripture: Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV)

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 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. 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. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

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. 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.

Sometimes it is hard for us to remember that even the famous, even those that seem to loom larger than life, started out as a little baby. We all get on this earth the same way from the womb of our mother. Babies are born every day and some turn out great, some turn out rotten, and some change the world.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we knew which babies were going to be amazing due to prophecies and angels announcing their arrival? How would that change us? How would it change them?

If otherworldly beings were going to take note of a birth in the Star Wars universe, it would likely have been Anakin’s. (Perhaps for Luke and Leia as well.) This was going to be the person that influenced the galaxy the most, both from his heroics in the Clone Wars to his help killing Jedi and establishing the Empire to his final sacrifice, saving his son and the galaxy in one swift motion. Yet we know nothing about Anakin’s birth at all nor of his upbringing before Qui-Gon, Padme, and the others find him on Tatooine.

(Interestingly, if you read today’s verses with Anakin in mind, you can see how he was both the darkness and the light, the oppressor and the savior, for those in that galaxy. Which is a bit off topic, but something to consider!)

We know there were angels there for the birth of Christ, heralding the new way God was communicating with His people. We know that they sang, that the heavens opened up with joy. It allowed the shepherds to know who to go look for and how important this new baby was. You wonder how many of those shepherds were still around when He began His ministry and followed, remembering that night long ago.

“The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Christ brought the light to the world. More light than anyone had ever seen or imagined. It wasn’t a physical light, like the ones blazing from my house (which light up the entire neighborhood, it feels like) but the Light of God, shining into our hearts and letting us know that we are loved by the Creator, who wants us to be with Him.

Today we celebrate that birth. We honor that gift. We realize that, unworthy though we are, we have been blessed. Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your glorious gift!

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