First Reading (Christmas Day): Isaiah 52:7-10

The Joy of the Watchmen

7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” 8 The voice of your watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when YHWH returns to Zion. 9 Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for YHWH has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 YHWH has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

World English Bible

Have you seen what you anticipated this Christmas? Why or why not?

These few verses from Second Isaiah described the joyful conversation between two imaginary watchmen who guarded the ruins of Jerusalem just before the return of the faithful from the Babylonian exile. The painful wait was over. YHWH had freed his people from their bondage. They were returning home to rebuild the City of David and its precious Temple. An advance man would precede the returning throngs with the message of salvation: “Your God is King!”

The imaginary conversation would be a shout of joy. The Lord himself led his people. He would restore the holy places. He would reveal his power on behalf of his people. All nations would see the salvation of YHWH.

Christians see the joyful witness in these verses focused on a small babe born two millennia ago. With the birth of Jesus, God began to rebuild the relationship between humanity and its maker. Salvation had come. And it is still with us!

What are you joyful for this season? How has God blessed this day for you?