Summary: There are signs that point to the "good news" of God’s promise to send his Son, to be our Savior. Isaiah said: "A child will be born..." A couple of illustrations...the old Burma Shave signs, Bell ringers in front of department stores...the light from th
In Jesus Holy Name December 5, 2007
Mid Week Advent I
Isaiah 9:6 Redeemer
“Signs Along the Way”
I grew up in Missouri before the creation of the interstate highway system was in place. We would travel on Highway 24. It’s one of those two lane highways that linked small towns. I remember the Burma Shave signs along the side of the road. They were witty poems. They relieved the burden of long trips in those pre interstate days.
The commercial roadside signs began in 1925 when Alan Odell suggested the idea to his father. At one time there were 7,000 Burma Shave signs across America. (Wikipedia)
They read like this: “Soap may do for lads with fuz,
But sir, you ain’t the kid you wuz.” Burma Shave
“A whiskery face for the one you adore
may not make her mad, but her face will be sore.”
“These signs we gladly dedicate to men who’ve had no
date of late.” Burma Shave.
One of the signs was found as late as 1986 in the Oregon wine country. Tow of the five signs were lying on the ground. “Farewell, o verse, Along the road, how sad to see, you’re out of mode.”
One of the signs leading up to Christmas is the advent wreath. Week by week we light a candle and the flames increase. The light of the candle provides a way to mark the time until the celebration of Christmas.
In absolute darkness one can not see, nor find a direction. You become immobilized by fear of falling or stumbling. One flicker of light can offer hope, and remove the fear of stumbling.
Jesus said, “…people do not light a lamp and place it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:15)
Would you rather have a birthday cake with electric lights? Or one with candles? Where would aroma therapy be without the light of a single flame? Most furnaces begin the process of providing warmth from a single flame.
I know the city has established “no burn days”, yet the new homes still have fire places. There is something about the flames in a family fire place. The flames dance. They are fascinating to watch. So begins the season of Advent. The sign of one candle lit….invites us to hear the promises of God.
`”Unto us a child will be born. His name will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, the prince of peace.”
Just before his crucifixion in Jerusalem Jesus told his disciples that he would send them the “counselor”, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the invisible presence of the invisible God, the presence of Jesus, himself. The Holy Spirit, The “counselor” would remind the disciples of the words Jesus spoke. They would be given “spiritual gifts” to empower them for ministry. They would proclaim his resurrection. They will be “gifted” to do His work in the world until his return.
Salvation Army bell ringers are standing on street corners; by the doors of major department stores and grocery stores. Neighbors have decorated their homes with flashing and festive lights. Signs that Christmas is coming. No one can miss the message….
We are all in need of the promised “counselor” who will guide us in God’s truth. God promised Adam and Eve “good news”. God said, “I have good news for you… I will send my son to save you.” “For a child will be born. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
God’s promise came true just over 2000 years ago. God sent his angel to reassure Joseph: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to (my promised son) and you will give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”
This is the good news to which the signs of Advent, the signs Christmas are pointing. This is not good news that allows you to make 3 easy payments for that special Christmas gift. The payment for your forgiveness and salvation has already been made. “For God placed all our sins, all the commandments we have broken on the cross of Jesus and left them there.” The signs are visible.