Dec 17, 2011

Advent Reflection on the Child to Be Born

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.

Today is the fourth Saturday of Advent. Our time of preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ is rapidly drawing to a close. Before long, we will celebrate the first coming of the one about whom the prophets spoke.

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 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.

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