Bringing the Text to Life

Jesus -- The Lion and the Lamb Isaiah 9:2-7

Jesus not only is the Lion of the tribe of Judah; he is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Not only is Jesus both the Lion and the Lamb, he makes both to lie down together. The light of the world was snuffed out on the cross, but returned brighter than ever.

We've all heard litanies of oxymo-rons -- those unique combinations of terms that both make sense and nonsense. Jumbo shrimp, long shorts, fresh frozen, pretty ugly, holy war, inactive Christian. But have you ever considered that we have just celebrated one of the biggest oxymorons ever considered: "Silent Night."

Is anyone out there a Christmas Eve shopper? There are some people who either because they want to take advantage of all the last-minute price markdowns they can or because they love the madhouse atmosphere of a shopping mall on December 24, intentionally do all their shopping the day before Christmas.

Of course, some of us will admit that it is just plain old procrastination that forces us to fight our way through hoards of other desperate shoppers on Christmas Eve. Cash registers ringing, bags and boxes crunching and crashing, harried shoppers bustling and bumping, parking lots filled with screeches and honks -- these are the real sounds of our "Silent Night."

Even if...

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