What are your favorite parts of the Christmas season? Are you a food person? Maybe it’s all about the Christmas movies or lights? I think we all have our favorite part of the season. I, for one, am a big fan of Christmas stories. Each family has cool stories that become part of their tradition.

But I am also a big fan of Advent. (more to come on that one).

And Advent is the absolute best family Christmas story. Ultimately, it is about us learning what it looks like for God himself, the real deal, to be in our world. Not only is he here, but he is with us.

This week we are talking about why the gospel is absolutely good news, not just good advice. We are jumping into a classic advent text for our part of the story. Straight into one of the passages of scripture many of us are familiar with and many people identify with the Christmas season.

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

2 The people who walk in darkness
    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
    a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
    and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery
    and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
    just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5 The boots of the warrior
    and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
    They will be fuel for the fire.
6 For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
    will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
    for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
    will make this happen! Isaiah 9:1-7

Gospel means good news. It’s one of those church words we throw around sometimes and forget what it actually means. The folks Isaiah was talking to needed some seriously good news. And let’s be honest, many of us need some legit good news.

So let’s have a conversation about resetting our own idea of goodness this season.