19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. 21 Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. 22 Then they will look toward the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. (Isaiah 8:19-22)
"The practices of Egypt and the surrounding nations had at their centre mediums, spiritists, magic, idol worship…They made perfect, logical sense, for they gave access to the forces of nature, which were the source of their economic prosperity. And Egypt was the wealthiest, most successful nation of its day!" (The Advent of Justice: A Book of Meditations, by Brian Walsh, Richard Middleton, Mark Vander Vennen, and Sylvia Keesmaat)
Are we really all that different in the 21st Century Western World? Our “mediums and spiritists” may seem different, but they act the same: our technological innovations, our political manipulations, our Dow Jones Averages, our stock market portfolios, our military might. The United States of America is the wealthiest, most successful nation of its day!
But God is calling to Christians in this nation, “To the law and to the testimony!!” When we stop listening to God’s Word and the testimony of who He is and how we are to be as God’s People, we are in danger. The world is a dark place. Look at the wars, the hunger, the oppression, the evil all around us. Are we a force for change? Are we the “light of the world?” Or are we indecipherable from the darkness?
But hope is not lost. In this darkness, a light has dawned.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)
The light is the Christmas child.
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 increase 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.
___in the form of a child,
______the Prince of Shalom.
___through his kingdom reign,
______with justice and righteousness.
___shining in the darkness,
______through the person of Jesus,
______and his people living up to their call.
technorati: spiritual formation, emerging church