For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders, and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NRSVUE)

When I was fourteen my father died. It was devastating and sent my mom into a deep depression. My older brother tried to help, but he had moved out of the family home, was married and with his wife raising a young family of his own. Fourteen is a very vulnerable age. I quickly had to learn adult responsibilities, but I was very fortunate and blessed that, realizing the loss to my family, parents in my neighborhood, school teachers, and sports coaches stepped up and took me under their wing.

That’s what God did in the divine and mortal birth of Jesus. Humankind was hurting, devastated by all that was happening around them, and needed some guidance, some grace, some peace. God’s goodness and loving kindness arrived in the baby Jesus, in plain sight for all to see. As he matured, he would grow up to experience all that we have experienced and, along the way, provide instruction to those who lived 2,000 years ago as well as to us today.

Each Advent season I better understand how God sent those parents, teachers, and coaches to me, to give me guidance, encouragement and love just at the time I needed it most. They came with the same compassion and love as God sent us in Jesus, the Word made flesh. In a life of generous mercy richly poured out for all, this child “born for us,” this son “given to us,” continues to be our “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Prayer: Gracious God, you place people in our lives to look after us, to love us, to give us encouragement, to lead us to the Prince of Peace. Thank you for giving us your Son, in the form of that little baby who did the same. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Marc – Inspire. Invite. Ignite.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Merrillville, IN