Hope in the Dark

From Help for Shepherds
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Message Ideas

Hope in the Dark
Text: Isaiah 7:10-16
Occasion: Christmas, Advent
The part "," of the query was not understood. Results might not be as expected.
Audience: General
Theological Tradition: General
Topic: Faith, Hope
Author: None Given


God risked himself on us, we can risk ourself on God.

How to Get There

  • God's people were under siege, there was practically no hope. To all the witnesses of the event God had abandoned them.
  • A more hopeless and dangerous situation few of us have ever experienced.
  • The king did not want to ask God for reassurance, and just lived in fear. And so Isaiah gave him a sign.
  • In the midst of potential death a child will be born, the ultimate act of faith. And before the salvation of God's people was assured the name of the child was already decided. God with us, God helping us.
  • That is faith. A radical hope that no matter what the situation looks like, God will not abandon us.
  • That is what Jesus was as well. No prophecy for years, God's people enslaved. And yet Jesus was proclaimed Immanuel, God is still and always with us.
  • And through his sacrifice he showed us a radical hope, a hope that we would not live on like we had, cowering in fear and afraid that God would never come. Jesus died for the hope that we would recognize what he had done, and what we would change because of that.
  • We are Ahaz, we are the people at the foot of the cross and those on the walls of Jerusalem. We each day of our live have the choice of whether we are going to live in a radical faith, stepping out and believing that God will come through, even before we see it.
  • We can do it, God risked himself on us, we can risk ourselves on God. It's the risk of love, the faith and the trust of caring for someone that much and having faith that they love you too.

Things to Watch For

  • This message only makes sense in context. It is during the seige of Jerusalem, and that needs to be dealt with well, and some passages about eating of anything, even children, might be a good idea to read to some audiences to reinforce how serious this was. This was a promise of something better,
  • This is going to be controversial, at least a bit. The original context of this passage is about a child born right then, and that this would all be over by the time the child was grown. But this verse is not associated almost exclusively with Jesus.
  • Try to make sure to look at the original context first, and then retie that meaning back into the Christ story. Otherwise the point can easily be missed in the assumption that we know it already.
  • You might want to read further than this as the next few verses make the original context of immediate birth and fulfillment clearer.

Other Ideas that use this Topic:

Power Along the Way.pngImage
Shield MarchWe succeed as Christians when we support each otherExperiential Learning
Shield of Faith.jpgThe shield of a Roman soldier mentioned in Ephesians 6Image
Walking on WaterA humorous retelling of Peter trying to walk on water to Jesus.Dramas

Page 150 of Blue Like Jazz has an excellent poem that goes along with this idea quite well.