A reflection on Isaiah 9.2-7:
We don’t usually use this passage uncut in public worship, or not at a Carol Service anyway. We want to hear about the light in the darkness, about the coming of the child who is the Prince of Peace. But maybe we don’t want the stuff in between: “all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood…” It’s certainly not very festive.
But it’s there. And it reminds us that God isn’t only interested in the festive bits, God is interested in the blood and sweat and tears too. It also reminds us that this great moment of incarnation for which we are preparing isn’t an isolated incident. It’s part of the long, messy, complicated story of salvation. And we can’t understand it in isolation, we need the whole picture, whether we like it or not.