A Hopeful Promise
Isaiah 8:18 See, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of a coming Immanuel — “God with us.” God who is at the same time Father and Son, would become incarnate so that believers might be called children. The advent season is one of anticipation for those who will be the LORD’s children. The promise is one of great hope for the children are a sign of the kingdom.
The promise is apparent on a couple of levels. There is the hope of family. Because of the first coming of the Messiah we are invited into the family. Jesus made it possible for us to become his brothers and sisters, and hence we all may become children of God. The Messiah would usher the children into his presence and they would be transformed. We may not all have positive experiences with our earthly families but this promise is something quite amazing. How can mere humans become children of God? Only because the Son of God offered himself up to become human. In this way the connection was made between God and man and the adoption plan was made complete. Because Immanuel became “God with us,” we can become “with God.” As children we become joint-heirs in God’s eternal promises which are beyond our comprehension. We are, even now, invited into a place of deep fellowship with our eternal Father.
While we enjoy the current relationship with our Father, we are also invited to be a sign of the kingdom. Children have a family resemblance. We tend to look and have mannerisms and characteristics of our parents, even when we try hard not to! There are things that are simply ingrained in the family DNA. As God’s children we look and act like the family and as we carry that resemblance we become signs of the coming kingdom. We live as kingdom citizens now, but we become the hopeful promise of the return of Christ. Christ will come again and those bearing the family name and resemblance point the way to life in the kingdom.
The advent seasons reminds us that we are the recipients of the great gift of adoption. We also become the beacons of the hopeful promise of Christ’s return as we live as members of his family. May we live faithfully and reflect well on the family name as God’s children.
Lord, thank you for the promises and the ways in which they have been fulfilled. I am grateful. Amen.