Pastoral Notes 6th December, 2015

The Christian Church has always held on to the books of the ‘Old Testament’ as preparing the way for the coming of Christ. (The Jewish faithful see the whole Word of God already in their own Scriptures). In an amazing way one prophet in particular speaks to us in Advent, Christmas and through Lent and Easter, that is the prophet Isaiah. A passage from his book is read most days of Advent, looking forward to “A child is born for us, a son given to us”, “The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light” (Chapter 9). Scholars now believe that there may have been two or even three writers under the one name of Isaiah, spanning a time before the great exile to Babylon, right through to a joyful return home, a span of over 150 years. It is the later part of the prophet’s work that begin to speak of a suffering servant. But God has often been called the ‘God of surprises’, opening a quite unexpected and humble Word.