by John Morton
Much Christian commentary focuses on the surface warm fuzzies of belief. Fully Alive takes a different, more thoughtful approach, bringing in history, philosophy, literature, and more. Big ideas are related in a simple, relevant way for the common person.
Our newest weekly article series, "Advent Saints," will feature short reflections on Isaiah, Mary, John the Baptist, and Joseph. They'll be released on Wednesdays throughout the season.
In this first article of the series, Fully Alive contributor John Morton discusses the Advent importance of the prophet Isaiah.
I have heard Isaiah called the “Prophet of Christmas,” and for good reason.
Just as Advent begins to turn our minds with anticipation to the great mystery of the Incarnation, so too Isaiah, around eight hundred years before the birth of Christ, prophesied with the anticipation of such an event. “Anticipation” and “salvation” are the driving forces in both Isaiah and Advent, and that is why we read from Isaiah this season. Christ himself knew the book of Isaiah well, and he began his ministry by reading a passage from Isaiah, and confirming it’s fulfillment. (Luke 4:16-21).
But Isaiah speaks more than just to the coming of Christ, he speaks also of the salvation of God, his mercy and his compassion. Even the name “Isaiah,” which means “God Saves,” points to this truth.
The prophet is not proclaiming just salvation for the Jews - he is the first prophet to proclaim that salvation available to anyone.
Christ brings that salvation, brings the Gospel to the gentiles, and is the King that Isaiah foretold. We anticipate his coming, and the joy and fulfillment that it brings, during the season of Advent, just as Isaiah did.
John Morton is a writer, historian, and theologian from Minnesota. He founded Fully Alive with Erik Ritland in 2017. In addition to writing articles, he is also the podcast co-host and social media content strategist.
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Erik Ritland received his MA in Theology in 2017. He's the founder and content manager of Fully Alive Christian Media and Rambling On, copy editor and writer for Music in Minnesota, and an acclaimed songwriter.