For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Perhaps one of the clearest prophetic texts in all of Scripture appears in Isaiah 9. I cannot read Isaiah 9:6 without two immediate associations. First, I hear in my memory the mighty chorus of Händel’s “Messiah”: “For unto us a child is born …." Second, I think of Jesus, the one who fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy. Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. He embodies the love and mercy of God in a unique way. Thus, in Advent, we are waiting for the coming of one who is more than a human messiah. We are waiting for the Incarnation of the Word of God, for the one who is Emmanuel, God with us, for the Son of God who comes to save the world.
All of us can be children of God through Jesus. But he alone is the unique Son of God: the ruler of God’s kingdom, the one who uniquely reveals God to us, the beloved Son who refers to God as Abba and invites us to do the same. Thus, through Jesus the Son of God, we become children of God who experience God’s love and who live in relationship with him each day.
In this season of Advent, as we await the coming of the Son of God, may we celebrate the fact that, through him, we can call God our Father. He loves us with a love that will never let us go.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What thoughts or images come to mind when you think of Jesus the Son of God? How have you experienced being a child of God through faith in Jesus the unique Son?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you are the Son of God. You are the divine king, hailed as Son of God in your royal majesty. I bow before you today, acknowledging your authority.
Yet you are Son of God, not only as the divine king, but also as the one who is God in human flesh. Jesus, you are the Son, the one and only, the one who makes the Father known to us.
All praise be to you, Lord Jesus, Son of God! May heaven and earth worship you today … including me. Amen.
It’s not a secret: sometimes it’s hard to find Jesus in church. Some of us have gotten used to the routine and the way things unfold in our weekly church services, and we just can’t seem to move beyond going through the motions. Others of us have been disappointed or we’ve become disenchanted, and we’ve decided to look for Jesus outside the church building. Others have gotten bored with the whole thing, and no longer expect to find Jesus in either the church or the Church. And then, there are those of us who find great comfort and deep meaning in both the church building and the Church of God.
Jesus built the church on Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of Living God. Jesus pronounced that not even the gates of hell would prevail against it. Christ’s grace is at work in the church. And in the Church. In Advent Church, let’s celebrate the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and let the Church say, “Amen.”