I suspect that you might be in full Christmas mode! This could include wrapping presents, going to parties or concerts, organizing Christmas day festivities, last-minute preparations and maybe squeezing in a Christmas Eve service to round out the holiday season. No doubt, this is the time of year when we are very busy. I hope that your Christmas has lots of peace in your soul regardless of the external activities that might be swirling around you in this season.
In the midst of all the bustle and festivities, let’s consider the famous verse frequently referenced in the Christmas season, Isaiah 9:6:
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
I always enjoy pondering this verse because of the rich content and powerful descriptions that identify Jesus. At the same time, I’m deeply moved when I consider the first pieces of this verse, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us.” When I consider these words, I see that “to us” is repeated and has the nuance of inclusion using “to us” rather than exclusion. Our Heavenly Father gave His Son to us, all of humanity, including everyone and excluding no one. Jesus wasn’t only given to holy and righteous people. Jesus wasn’t given only to reprobates and losers. Jesus is given to all of us, full stop.
Additionally, we know that Jesus was born into human existence, a child and son, such that He grew up in human skin and intimately experienced our daily living, struggles, joys, pains, demands and even moments of laughter.
As we keep reading in this verse, it can be helpful to think about our government resting on Jesus’ shoulders. When I pause to think about this, it reminds me to pray that our government will truly rest on Jesus’ shoulders. We desperately need this in our country, and I hope that we pray this more than we complain and grumble about our political leaders, branches of government, elections, laws, etc. Even as I write this, I am convicted to be more prayful for our government rather than gripey.
The last half of this verse is often where we frequently focus the most because of the incredible descriptions and identifiers of Jesus. So in this Christmas season, let’s consider how Jesus can be our Wonderful Counselor. We all need counseling, whether we recognize it or not. Perhaps you’ve had counseling or therapy that wasn’t so wonderful, and maybe you’re a little hesitant from a negative experience. Let me encourage you that Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, and His counsel for us will always be beneficial.
Jesus is also our Mighty God, in contrast to the puny and ineffective gods that humans often employ for help to get through life. Some of the puny human gods that are common in our society include entertainment, education, achievement, nature, money, image, popularity, etc. Gods of this variety are like eating cotton candy when your stomach is grumbling for steak. On the flip side, Jesus is our Mighty God, all-powerful, all-knowing and ever-present. Jesus is fully able to help us in our human existence.
Additionally, Jesus is our Eternal Father because He is unbounded by time and the origin of humanity. I think this description can strike a chord for all of us because of the term “father” since every person on this planet has a father. Whether our fathers were good, bad, neutral or non-existent, we exist because of a human father. More importantly, we have an Eternal Heavenly Father that has breathed us into existence, and He is both infinite and genuine love. In my opinion, this is a drastic upgrade over our human parents.
Finally, Jesus is our Prince of Peace. As we let this truth sink into our hearts, it can give us tremendous comfort and stability even in the darkest seasons in our lives. I also find it tremendously helpful to remember that Jesus is my Prince of Peace in the thick swirl and frenzied bustle of Christmas.
So my dear reader, Merry Christmas!
For unto us a Child is born, and unto us a Son is given!