The child of promise
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:23 (NIV)
‘For unto us a child is born…’1 writes the prophet, sinking his pen into the staining fluid to complete the prescient prediction – laying the child of promise in a venerable cradle of words.
Now the prophet and his pen are stilled, his silent bones beneath the hurried earth are blind and heedless, as tireless winds of time lay seven centuries of dust, to make, of ancient paths, a peace-bound trail.2
From Bethlehem Ephrathah, a babe among the clans of Judah, and the first to see the light of Messiah’s coming, to the meagre town of Nazareth, where a boy and a carpenter’s bench are matched in height and towering timbers yield to a craftsman’s hands; to lowly Capernaum, beside the baptising stream,3 where manhood is reached and whence proceeds the mission of the Christ.4
What kind of man is this,5 who speaks to the wind and the wind is calm,6 to the sea and the sea lies down,7 to the blind and the blind see, to the lame and the lame walk, to the sick and the sick are made well; to the deaf and the deaf hear, to the dead and the dead rise, to the poor and the poor no longer care?8
One who is in very nature God and clothed in celestial light,9 has framed himself in dust,10 to serve and to save a sinning race: to make of humankind a new creation,11 made righteous upon sin’s ruin.12
Do thoughts of victory ease the suffering soul? What joy is there that appears not hollow in grief? But grace abounds when to the Cross I cling, and faith’s my anchor. I think back to that tomb, empty now of all its glory, to how that grave could never hold him, who has, forever, claimed death’s territory.
1 Isaiah 9:6
2 Jeremiah 6:16
3 Matthew 4:13
4 Mark 1:21-22
5 Matthew 8:27
6 Mark 4:39
7 Matthew 8:27
8 Matthew 11:5
9 1 Timothy 6:16
10 Philippians 2:7
11 2 Corinthians 5:17
12 Romans 8:3
Dear Father, help us to focus our thoughts on your Son, Jesus: on his life, his suffering, his death and on the power of his resurrection, which is the promise and the pledge upon which all our hope rests, Amen.
Study by Richard Dempsey
About the writer:
Richard Dempsey is a Minister in the Cambridgeshire congregation of Grace Communion International.
Farcet Village Hall (Weekly – except for 1st Saturday each month)
Comberton Village Hall (Monthly – 1st Saturday each month)
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