25th MESSIANIC SYMBOL for the Advent Season: Manger

DECEMBER 25:  Isaiah 9:6

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 (NIV)

Isaiah 9:6 provides a wonderful summary of the celebration of Christmas—“For to us a child is born!” Usually the arrival of a new baby is cause for celebration. The family may have many hopes and dreams for the baby—perhaps they hope he will become an award-winning athlete or that she will become president. But no one really knows exactly what the future holds or even what kind of characteristics this baby will have when he grows up. The birth of Jesus was different because God had told us many things about this baby long before His birth.

Isaiah, writing seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, tells us that He would be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. The most important thing these names tell us about Jesus is that, even as a child and even before His birth, He was God. His birth as a child shows us He was human; these names show us He is also God.

He is our “Wonderful Counselor.” Only God is responsible for the wonder of creation and of miracles that only God can do. Jesus is able to guide us because He knows everything and is the source of wisdom itself. He is our “Mighty God.” He is one with God and has always existed and always will exist. John tells us “He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:2). He is “Everlasting Father.” He not only cares about us, but He has the power to protect us and meet our needs. And He is the “Prince of Peace.” He overcomes sin, the source of all conflict. Once we have turned our lives over to Jesus we can know inner peace no matter what external circumstances we may experience.

Never before or since has there been such a child—a child who is both God and man. No wonder we have reason to celebrate! Rejoice in His birth today.

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the poor Baby wakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes,
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Thank God that because of the birth of His Son we have a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, an Everlasting Father and a Prince of Peace.

Ask God to help us proclaim the fact that a Child has been born—a Child who is both God and Man.

Joy fills our inmost hearts to-day! The royal Child is born;
And angel hosts in glad array His advent keep this morn.
Rejoice, rejoice! the incarnate Word has come on earth to dwell;
No sweeter sound than this is heard, Emmanuel.
For us the world must lose its charms before the manger shrine,
When, folded in thy mother’s arms, we see thee, Babe divine.
Thou Light of uncreated Light, shine on us, holy Child;
That we may keep thy birthday bright, with service undefiled.

William C. Dix (1837-1898)


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