When you read these two verses, do you hear background music in your mind? Does Handel’s rhythm make you accentuate certain words? Do you hear the Messiah’s four-part harmony as you pronounce the names this child shall be called?
The famous melody that surrounds this beloved passage has helped us memorize it. But we also love these verses because of what the words mean. We understand the truth that this child we cannot live without is born to us because the zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this (v. 7). This son is given to us because God’s joyfully enthusiastic desire makes it so. In this line we discover the more-than-generous heart of our Creator.
We know the difference between giving what feels like a required transaction and offering a present that excites us just to think about it. Gifts that engage the imaginations of both the giver and the receiver elevate us all. The gifts that reflect thoughtful creativity are the ones we remember and share wholeheartedly.
Jesus points out that if we who are not divine know how to give good gifts, how much more is God able to give (Lk 11:13). He tells his disciples this so that they will trust in God’s generosity to provide the Spirit that they will need.
Jesus knows the giving heart of God that Isaiah also proclaims to the people. In this season of giving, may we drew nearer to the Source of all generosity, the one who gives zealously.
What gifts will you give zealously this year?
God, we need to live with your lavish generosity. We need to see what is possible when we give like you do. Be with us as we share this season. Amen.