On Christmas Eve, I had the privilege of helping prepare the dinner for the inmates of the Marshall County Jail as well as visiting with some of the women incarcerated there. It was a powerful experience and there are not words to express the look in their eyes as they heard the message from the prophet Isaiah:
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness- on them light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4 For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Here is my sermon for our Christmas Eve service based on that text: The First Christmas Gift
And on Sunday, we explored Luke's story of Simeon and Anna and reflected on what we can learn from Those Who Wait.