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 WonderfulCounselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 NIV
We really need one in the world today, don’t you agree? In among the tinsel and toys of the Christmas season, there are places around the world where the best negotiators and counsellors are desperately needed. The dispute between the Israeli people and the surrounding Arab/Islamic nations is one, and the Arab Spring has brought about its own troubles within these emerging democracies. Closer to home, we have the ongoing sectarian troubles in Northern Ireland, and the UK and Scottish governments to legalise same sex marriage.
Having a ‘go between’ in negotiations is essential, and preferably one who can be impartial and yet judge in clear and acceptable and understandable tones. I think it is fair to say that we also need such a person in our own lives, because we all without exception have done something wrong, and have needed someone to speak on our behalf. I love the verse on a personal level, and more so at Christmastime, but look at the phrase again.
This same baby Jesus who left heaven to live an earthly life, was crucified, but rose again, is no ordinary counsellor. He is a ‘wonderful counsellor’! Look at the two words this way: Wonderful:= awesome, wondrous, miraculous, astonishing, amazing, astounding, phenomenal, unique, marvellous, lovely, admirable, magnificent, enjoyable. Counsellor:= advisor, mentor, advocate, instructor, teacher, guide. So a “Wonderful Counselor” means an amazing guide, who leads us on an astonishing journey! Let’s make this Christmas the start of our journey with the best guide we could have: Emmanuel ‘God WITH us’.