“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” — Isaiah 7:14
Wreath Directions: Light all three purple candles and then the pink candle. The pink candle represents Christ’s humanity.
Read: Isaiah 7:14, 40:1-11; John 1:35-36
Suggested Carol: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Even the most devout Jew knew that there would be a great prophet coming one day to lead Israel. They knew he would be of the line of David; ruling with David’s might, and would fight on the Lord’s behalf for Israel. He would be a prophet like Moses. And the power of the Lord would be with him.
But little did they know that this messiah would be none other than God Himself. The incarnation of Jesus Christ still remains one of the universe’s great mysteries, perhaps second only to the Triune nature of God. How could God Himself fulfill all the prophecies concerning the messiah? How could He become flesh? And why would He choose to do that?
Isaiah 7:14 and 40:9 are among many glimpses of the incarnation in the Old Testament. In Isaiah 40, here is the great herald, later identified as John the Baptist, proclaiming that the consolation of Israel had arrived and He is standing right in front of them. He does not say, “Here is your messiah!” He said, “Here is your God!” God Himself would save Israel. He would come with power and grace and be both a shepherd AND a lamb.
This week we will explore various aspects of the incarnation leading to Christmas Day. There is more material in the Scriptures than we have time to explore, but perhaps the greatest treasures exploring the incarnation can be found in Hebrews 2:14-18, Philippians 2:1-9 and Colossians 1:15-22. God became just like us so He could fully redeem us and act as our intercessor and advocate. It is the marvelous mystery of the incarnation that we celebrate every Christmas.
This week’s prayer is:
“Our Father in heaven, we light these candles to thank You for sending Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be just like us in His humanity. We thank You for His atoning blood, shed on the cross for our sins, and that through His resurrection we might have life in His name. We thank You for His first coming and we eagerly await His bodily return. It is in His holy name we pray. Amen.”