By, Tobi H.
I love listening to Christmas music all throughout the advent season. Recently, I’ve been meditating on the hymn based off of Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” These four names have so much beauty and depth.
Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. He hears our every need, hurt, and cry. He is wonderfully there for us to counsel and guide us through each moment, providing comfort and love as only a divine counselor can.
He is our Mighty God. Jesus is strong and powerful beyond our wildest imagination. He made everything and in Him we have our being. He is bigger than everything we face and everything in this world is about Him, not us.
Jesus is our Everlasting Father. He is better than the best earthly father, loving and providing for us perfectly, forever. He gives us exactly what we need each day and has extended us absolute grace to cover all of our sin, forever.
He is our Prince of Peace. Jesus is the one and only true ruler of this earth. He is establishing His kingdom, not based on politics or earthly leaders and alliances, but based on true peace – salvation in Him. The only way we can have peace in this life is to relinquish control of our lives to Him and let Him rule our hearts.
This Christmas, may your heart be comforted by your Wonderful Counselor, may your life be dedicated to your Mighty God, may you rest in the grace of your Everlasting Father, and may you be wholly relinquished to your Prince of Peace.
The Second Hand Nativity
By, Marcy A.
One of my favorite moments of the Christmas season is watching my daughter unwrap her nativity scene. A few years ago, when she was around the age of four, my husband and I saw part of a nativity scene at a secondhand store and purchased it for her. We then added the missing parts as we found them until her set was complete.
Each year when we get out our Christmas decorations she looks forward to taking out her nativity and setting it up near our Christmas tree. She carefully arranges and rearranges baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and all the angels, shepherds and animals until they are just right. The pieces don’t match perfectly, but that doesn’t matter at all.
As my daughter rearranges her nativity we often talk about what she is doing and I am reminded of the fact that there is more to the story. Yes, the story of Jesus birth’ is amazingly wonderful, but the story does not stop there. One night in Bethlehem a little boy was born but the reality is, He came to die. He came to save us, to save me, from my sins, so that we can spend eternity in heaven with Him. That little baby came to lay down His life for us. Romans 5:8 says that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. Like that secondhand nativity, we are far from perfect, but through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross we have been rearranged into something very beautiful in God’s eyes.
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