Summary: The Babe of Bethlehem is God’s most precious gift to humanity, the salvation of our God.
Isaiah 52: 7 – 10 - The Salvation of Our God
Intro: I suppose by this time everyone has opened all their Xmas presents. When you get back to work after the holidays, usually the 1st question people ask is “What did you get for Christmas?” --- Some people think that Christmas is all about receiving gifts. That’s what most retailers and advertisers what you to think. -- And, to a certain extent that is true. It depends on what kind of gift we are talking about. Indeed we have been given quite a gift, the gift of God’s presence in our world.
I. It was Isaiah who said that God would come in this way. His message came to people who were either in captivity in Babylonia or were living in poverty back in Israel.
A. It was a welcome gift. The people had felt abandoned and forgotten and Isaiah came to assure them that God had not forgotten or forsaken them.
B. VERSE 7 – “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation.”
C. The people took comfort in Isaiah’s words because they felt they were not forgotten; that God still acted on their behalf and they were not alone.
II. Isaiah showed his people and us that the gifts from God available to them and us, touch our lives in a way no other person or thing can.
A. Isaiah tells us we have the gift of “Good News” --- “VERSE 7 – “Your God reigns.” --- You can sense the urgency in the writing. Isaiah is excited to share this news of God’s presence. We should be!
B. At the time of Isaiah, a messenger sent by the king spoke with the authority of the king. It was as though the king himself were speaking.
C. So it is with us. We are sent by Christ the King into God’s world. We are the messengers. We are the bearers and bestowers of God’s word. We should do so with urgency.
III. The event we celebrate this day, Christmas, marks for us the day when all barriers between us and God are destroyed.
A. The story is told that on Christmas Eve during the fighting of World War I both sides stopped shooting at each other long enough to sing “Silent Night” one of the world’s most beautifully simple songs. Men came out of the trenches to share with each other and celebrate the birth of the Son of god.
B. VERSE 8 – “Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.”
C. All barriers between humanity and God are destroyed forever by the birth of the “babe of Bethlehem.” God has come into the world as one of us and by doing this wonderful thing, we receive the gift of the salvation of our God. – God becomes human to save us from ourselves and each other. He came long ago go so that, VERSE 10b – “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Conclu: You might not be happy with all the gifts you received this year for Christmas. Surely some of them will find their way back to the retail establishment from whence they came, exchanged for something more to your liking. --- However, the gift of salvation is one that, once accepted, can never be exchanged or returned. It belongs to you forever.