God's gift to you
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
- Isaiah 9:6
Look at the gift we get at Christmas!
At first, it sounds like the sort of lame excuse a husband give a wife who has just given birth in late December: “You just got a baby for Christmas … surely you don’t need another gift from me!” But once we move past our eye-rolling (and, be honest, you did roll your eyes a little) … we can explore the nature of this gift.
The child was a government-carrying monarch. A new generation, a new king offered a new start, hope that things can take a turn for the better, that the future might be great. And the prophetic language about this son is remarkable.
Look at the titles …
- Wonderful Counselor – his wisdom is beyond our comprehension … it’s not that we can’t match it, it’s that we can’t even imagine wisdom like his … King Solomon on steroids (note: the word for “wonderful” is used throughout the Old Testament to describe God’s wonder-working deeds)
- Mighty God – as if the theophanic allusion in the previous title didn’t tip you off, this has no subtlety … God himself will once again rule over his people, lending all his strength to their aid and comfort
- Everlasting Father – the kingdom with no end, the king who will be king forever, the king who won’t fall or abandon his people or die … provision and protection … the Lord and Giver of life
- Prince of Peace – in a world of constant conflict this son will set everything and everyone into right relationship with everything and everyone else … what will we do with ourselves when we’re at peace?
God gives us himself at Christmas. And he tells us he’s coming. He tells us to get ready. He sent prophets ahead. They’re running into our cell phones and computer screens and living rooms right now, telling us that Christ is coming. At Christmas and on the final day and today. He’s coming today. He’s here today. He’s here with you right now.
Merry Christmas? (too soon?!?)