The Spirit of the Lord, §1: Introduction
The Spirit of the Lord God is Upon Me: Theological Reflections on Immanuel
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. (Isa. 7:14)
For a child has been born for us,
a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders;
and he is named
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually,
and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isa. 9:6-7)
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, to display his glory.
They shall build up the ancient ruins,
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations. (Isa. 61:1-4)
In days to come the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised up above the hills.
Peoples shall stream to it,
and many nations shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more;
but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees,
and no one shall make them afraid;
for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. (Micah 4:1-4)
Since Christmas Eve, 2006, I have been working on a theological reflection on Immanuel—“God with us,” the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This reflection began as a response to a Christmas Eve sermon I heard, which evacuated Christ of all impact upon our socio-political existence. The final document has become a rather lengthy theological treatise which covers a wide range of theological issues. At its heart, the reflection is a short missional theology rooted in christology with a concluding emphasis upon ecclesiology.
While the reflection is a single document, I will post it here in smaller sections. While I hope each post will stand on its own, they must be interpreted in light of the whole document. I have written it as one whole piece, not in individual sections (as with my series on Christian universalism).
Finally, the passages above are ones to which I will refer throughout the series. They are posted here as a reference and as a way to set the tone for what will come in the future. I look forward to hearing your thoughts in response as the series progresses.