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Day 4: The Promise of Faith

Scripture to meditate on: Isaiah 9:6 The Child Who is God
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.

I first remember hearing today’s scripture set to Baroque music when I was six years old. I was sprawled out on the living room rug, waiting for Christmas. Handel’s “The Messiah” was spinning on my parents’ high fidelity record player. (My family played that beloved vinyl album every year at Christmastime. The oratorio was actually written as an Easter offering.)

“For unto a child is born…and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace…,” the choir sang. So many names for Jesus, I thought. How did the people know this baby would be an everlasting father, the Mighty God?

Having limited familiarity with the Old Testament at age six, I assumed that The Messiah’s “lyrics” in this piece were joyful expressions of those first seeing or hearing about the birth of Jesus. I was surprised to later learn those expressions were actually bible prophecies. The prophet Isaiah had written these “lyrics” to the Nation of Israel some 700 years before Jesus was born! His words were passed down from generation to generation, each one waiting for Immanuel to appear in their time. Imagine the excitement and awe of the faithful when He finally did arrive!

Questions to ponder:

  • What does this passage say about God?
  • What does this passage say about me or my relationships?
  • What should I do in light of this passage?
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