Isaiah 9:2-7, Colossians 1:13-20
December 10, 2017
preached by Doug Cooper
Time of Reflection Quotations
“When we look at the whole scope of this story line, we see clearly that Christianity is not only about getting one’s individual sins forgiven so we can go to heaven. That is an important means of God’s salvation, but not the final end or purpose of it. The purpose of Jesus’s coming is to put the whole world right, to renew and restore the creation, not to escape it. It is not just to bring personal forgiveness and peace, but also justice and shalom to the world.”
~ Timothy J. Keller (1950-present), American pastor, theologian and Christian apologist
“Shalom is the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight…. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or cease-fire among enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight.”
“Sin offends God not only because it bereaves or assaults God directly, as in impiety or blasphemy, but also because it bereaves and assaults what God has made. Sexism and racism, for example, show contempt both for various human persons and also for the mind of God. God savors and wants not only humankind but also human kinds. In the cramped precincts of their little worlds, sexists and racists disdain such differences in kind. In sum, shalom is God’s design for creation and redemption; sin is blamable human vandalism of these great realities and therefore an affront to their architect and builder.”
~ Cornelius Plantinga Jr. (1946-present), author, professor
“God’s dynamic plan is predicated on shalom–the intended state of peace and wholeness that all of God’s creation is meant to experience. This isn’t peace as we Americans conceive of it, like snoozing in a hammock; rather, it is an active presence of what is right, true, nourishing, joyful, and the like. Shalom is the plumb line, and when we see injustice in the world, we see that things are not as they ought to be. Put another way, injustice and sin tear the fabric of shalom–and shalom is the all-encompassing desire of God for peace and goodness throughout His creation.”
~ Ken Wytsma, contemporary pastor, professor and author
“This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’er forget,
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done;
Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heav’n be one.”
~ Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901), American minister and writer
Isaiah 9:2-7, Colossians 1:13-20
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.