What do these words from Isaiah ben Amoz mean for us? My first instinct is to meditate on Isaiah 9 in light of its historical situation, which is bound up with the geopolitics of the late 8th century BCE.
Advent | Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year A)
Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
As we know, “let there be light” were the first words out of the Lord’s mouth in the beginning. However, few people have taken this literally since, like the Lord, the universe is thought to be infinite with no definite beginning. But then along came Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble, who theorized and confirmed how galaxies were receding away from each other over time.
In the Bible, God--or sometimes God's messenger--often implores freaked-out men and women not to be afraid. It's a standard divine greeting, a nicety to allay the pulse-quickening shock of receiving a message from heaven. Frequently the commandment stands alone: Fear not, period. Sometimes it's stitched to an object or person: Do not be afraid of _____.