We just finished a very ugly election cycle. Regardless of what side you were on, it’s hard to deny the divisiveness of the campaigns and the candidates…and the divided nature of the people of our country. I don’t know about everyone, but most of the people I talk to long for a United America again. I remember with nostalgia a day gone by when disagreements were not accompanied by disrespect and where pride in our country was the finish line for everyone. We’ve experienced that before. I hope we can again.
On a much larger and even more important scale, Christmas is about hoping that a new leader – one like humanity has never known – might be given to us from God and usher in unity and peace like the world has never seen. Christmas is the hope that God has given us that Leader in Jesus.
Read Isaiah 9:1-7, which you can do here.
Consider that the nation of Israel had once experienced huge success and widespread national unity. They were faithful to God and God granted them His favor.
And then it all ended. The people forgot God, turned away from God. They wanted life without God, so He granted their request. They were conquered. Humiliated. Divided. Defeated.
So you can imagine what Isaiah’s words felt like. Isaiah casts a net of hope, drawing everyone together with this common vision: A light is dawning in a place where darkness has prevailed! People are rejoicing again!
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.
Take a few minutes and meditate on each of these four ‘titles’. People placed their hope in a coming Savior who would be:
1) Wonderful Counselor
2) Mighty God
3) Everlasting Father
4) Prince of Peace
What do each of these titles mean to you? What do you hope for from God from each of these aspects of who He is? Don’t let me rush you past the rest of Isaiah 9. There is powerful imagery in Isaiah’s words here. Is there anything God is saying to you specifically? Be sure to write it down.