On This Mountain, Christmas

“On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine- the best of meats and the finest of wines. On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the LORD , we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
(Isaiah 25:6-9 )

Christmas is like a time set apart. During the 4 weeks of Advent we sing songs that are not sung other times of the year. We decorate our houses and our churches with garlands, ribbons, and festive cloth that is kept packed away during the rest of the year. We indulge in food and sweets that are special for this time of the year. So it is appropriate to think of this time of the year as being set on a mountain apart from from the worries, cares and sorrows that inhabit the valleys. At this time of year joy and light are our companions. And at this time of year we celebrate the promise that “a savior who is Christ the Lord” will undertake for us and will defeat death. In the opening verse of Isaiah chapter 25 it says,
“O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.”

Verse 2 through 5 talk about the ways that God was evident to the writer of Isaiah. And then come the verse above. If the writer of Isaiah had much to celebrate, we have even more because between that time and now Christ did come and fulfilled all the promises that were written about him. Hans Symons from his prison cell at Antwerp wrote “And He comforts us, for He is a God of comfort, who can comfort all troubled hearts, as He also does. But I hope that we shall soon have brought forth; then we shall remember the anguish and distress no more, and all the tears, that now ofttimes course down our cheeks, so that at times we almost, with David, water our bed with our tears, will be wiped away; for He is faithful that promised it us, and will also keep it. We comfort one another much with the Lord’s promises.“ If the Lord comforted him and his fellow prisoners, how much more can we expect our God to comfort us when we are on God’s holy mountain being wined and dined.

May you know the full bounty and joy of the season. Selah!