The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” The focus of the advent season – from now through Christmas – is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God.
Isaiah 9:2-6 is one of the more popular passages in connection with the advent season as it draws attention to Jesus as the light that comes into a dark world.
2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
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.
Over the next five Sundays I’m going to be focusing on verse 6 and the five names used to describe Jesus. Names in Scripture serve a dual purpose as the focus on a persons’ character and on what they will do.
The Hebrew word that Isaiah uses here for Wonderful is used throughout the Old Testament and is translated in various places as: marvelous, hidden, too high, too difficult, and miracle. It carries the basic meaning of being unique and different.
May we come to experience Jesus as Wonderful!