Presents are exchanged between family members, sometimes co-workers, even strangers.
People drive miles and miles to see relatives that they haven’t seen in years and have no real ties to anymore, simply because they are connected by blood and marriage.
Food is prepared and enjoyed on such a level that you would think that we didn’t eat anything the whole month before.
Songs that haven’t been heard in eleven months are filled dusted off and declared from every rooftop, spreading a blanket of cheer everywhere.
Christmas is an interesting time.
But it is interesting for another reason.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and dominion shall be upon his shoulder; and He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 CJB).”
This verse is obviously about Jesus, the Child born to us, the Son given for all humanity.
What I find so interesting is how Isaiah describes this gift that we can receive.
There is so much more to unpack than the quick look I’ll give it, but let the ideas of who this Child is overwhelm you.
Wrapped up in a few pounds and mere inches of flesh and bone is someone that is so awe inspiring,his character and what he is capable of doing, creating, changing, that He is title Full of Wonder. Full of Awesomeness, the likes that the world has not yet known, and forever will seek to know is and was wrapped up in the person of Jesus.
In a world filled with professional and aids to help us navigate through the difficulties that life throws our way we tend put Jesus and His name as Counselor on a bottom shelf. What we fail to realize is that of all the counselors in the earth, none will ever delve into the deepest parts of your soul and eliminate the issues that plague you. No one else will be able to remove the problems that reoccur in your life. No one else came to see that you were forever sin and stain free.
Mighty God was a title or name of God used throughout the Old Testament. Look at the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and you will see it. How powerful an image that the God that start, sustained and grew a nation out of a single aging couple is now wrapped up in swaddling close. How awesome that this baby would do the same thing but for all nations.
I like what the Complete Jewish Bible translation does here, Father of Eternity. Other bibles translate it Eternal or Everlasting Father, which is not a bad thing. But Father of Eternity puts such a large scope onto who this Baby is. Jesus is bigger, even as a Child, than the largest and most un-understandable concepts that we have. How powerful and all encompassing is this Boy Child?
Last, but by no means least, the Prince of Peace. What a world needs more I do not know. Wars and rumors of wars rage on the TV daily. Neighbors quarrel, family divide regularly. The human heart and mind never seem to stop, they are always going, always on the move with fear, worry and stress overflowing its banks. But this Jesus came bear peace, being peace in its more essential and effective way. What gift could bless the world more than the Bearer of Peace?
These ideas could be pushed to further limits. They could each fill a lengthy sermon, but I wanted to just give your minds a little Christmas treat. Something to let your minds ponder and wonder at, the great gift that is Jesus Christ.
So, whatever you find yourself doing this year, passing out presents, sitting down to a nice meal or singing carols, I hope that you would take the time to realize how large a gift we have been given. A gift that reaches and makes better every part of our lives.
Merry Christmas to all of you.