• Christ Church, Willesborough

Christmas Day Morning Prayer (25 December 2021) Isaiah 9:6


The Israelites were God’s chosen people. The LORD God separated Israel from other nations to be a witness for Him. When laws and commandments could not save them from eternal death, God spoke to them through His prophets. But most of the time the people did not listen to the prophets. The prophets prophesised about the birth of Jesus also. They said the Messiah would come and save the people from eternal death. Isaiah was one of the prophets who prophesised to the people in Judah around 760 BC. In Isaiah 9:6 he prophesised about the attributes of the Lamb of God. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”. After this prophecy, there was a great silence for around 400 years. But the Lord was true to His promises. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. When Jesus came to this world, He preached about repentance and the kingdom of God. He came to prepare the way for us to inherit eternal life in the kingdom of heaven. The people in darkness saw a great light through Jesus. He came as the Messiah to save humans from eternal death. I would like to meditate the attributes of Jesus according to Isaiah 9:6.

Wonderful: The birth of Jesus was unusual. He was born of the virgin Mary. We read the conversation between Mary and the angel in Luke 1:28–38. Mary should have been shocked when the angel blessed her and told her about the birth of Jesus. She asks, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” Verse 35 has the angel’s reply: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”. Jesus was not conceived by any man. He was incarnate by the Holy Ghost. That is why one of His names is Wonderful. When offering a sacrifice for their sins, people had to choose animals without fault or blemish. The early sin of Adam and Eve did not get passed through Jesus because He was begotten not made. Jesus was sent as the lamb of God without any blemish to be sacrificed for our sins. Jesus’s birth is a miracle that has not happened at any other time, so He is indeed Wonderful.

Counsellor: The one who gives counsel is a counsellor. Nowadays, it is very common to be referred to a counsellor to guide us during tough or difficult times. When Jesus was born, we were sent the best Counsellor. If we seek Jesus Christ, trust in His guidance and obey His commandments, we will receive the required counsel when we meditate on the Word of God. We have Jesus Christ as our counsellor always with us. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He promised in John 14:26: “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”. Isaiah 30:21 says about the guidance of the Holy Spirit: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left”. Although Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit will guide in all things, it is our responsibility to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit and follow the guidance. Jesus was born as our Counsellor to guide and counsel us.

The Mighty God: Throughout the Bible, we read how Mighty our Lord is. Jesus performed many miracles when he was ministering in this world. He turned water into wine in Cana. He healed the sick and raised the people from dead. He cast the devils away. When the disciples witnessed the waves and the wind obeying Jesus, they “feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”. Paul says in Colossians chapter 1 verses 16 and 17: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist”. Our Lord is mighty and He can save or deliver us from our bondage. Nothing is beyond His control and there is nothing that He cannot do. Psalm 33:9 says “For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.”If He is in our lives, The Mighty God can do great and mighty things that we know not.

Prince of Peace: Many years before Jesus was born, prophet Isaiah prophesised about the birth of Jesus. He mentioned Jesus would be the Prince of Peace. But when Jesus was born, King Herod killed the infants and the whole country was crying for their sons. Jesus came to bring peace in our hearts. John 16:33 says “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jesus promised us His peace whatever the situation we are in. He invites us in Matthew 11:28 saying “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” In John 14:27 Jesus said “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” When we have the Prince of Peace in our lives, according to Philippians 4:7, “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” If we have the Prince of Peace in our hearts, we will have true peace in our lives. Jesus came as the Prince of Peace to give us His peace that only He can give.

Everlasting Father: We the church believe in God of Trinity, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament saints only knew about the Father who is Jehovah. The first three verses of John’s gospel, chapter 1 explain the relationship between the Father and the Son: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made”. Also in verse 14 John said, “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”. When creating the world, He was the Almighty Father. He came as Christ Jesus to sacrifice Himself for us and restore the world. After resurrection and ascension, He is with us as comforter Holy Spirit. After the White Throne Judgement, He will be the Everlasting God and Father for ever. Jesus came to prepare us to receive Him as the Everlasting Father.

Today, the whole world is celebrating Christmas. For some, it is a time to celebrate family togetherness. For some others, it’s an annual tradition. For those who have accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour, it is a time to celebrate His birth. We know that many of our celebrations were introduced by early Romans. Some Christians and churches do not celebrate Christmas for this reason. We do not know exactly when Jesus was born, but every year we celebrate the birth of our Lord. We celebrate the fact that when Jesus was born, people in darkness saw a great light through Him. All celebrations will be meaningful if we practice the purpose of the celebration and when the LORD God is pleased.

Advent season precedes Christmas. Advent is a time of preparation and self-reflection. It is a time to set right our relationship with Jesus and prepare ourselves to meet Him when He comes again. The purpose of Jesus’s birth on that first Advent day is to prepare us for the second Advent. During Advent Sundays, we meditated on preparing for the second Advent. The church or the Temple of God is the Holy place where God dwells. The church is a place to give glory unto the LORD God and worship Him in the beauty of holiness. It is a place to prepare the people for the kingdom of God which is the second Advent. We are the temple of God. We must be holy for our Lord to dwell in us. When our Lord in un us, we He can cleanse and restore us. He is the vine and we are the branches. He expects us to remain in Him and bear fruits for Him. He has planted us and tends to us so we will bear much fruit. God expects us to increase our knowledge by meditating on the Word of God. He expects us to receive wisdom from Him and stand against the devil to overcome temptations. He expects us to endure until the end following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus came as Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father and The Prince of Peace. When we bring our offering and come before Him, do we worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness? Are we celebrating the real reason of Jesus’s birth? Do we have the zeal to be holy for our Lord Jesus who was born to save us from eternal death? Are we bearing fruits for Him and witnessing Him? On this Christmas day, let us ask if we have seen the light through Jesus. Are people around us seeing the true light in our lives? Are we meditating on the Word of God to receive wisdom from Him? Are we standing against the devil to overcome temptations? What will be our reward on the second Advent? While we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, are we ready to meet the Lord Jesus as the Judge? Only if we are ready and have fulfilled Jesus’s purpose for the first Advent, Christmas celebration will be meaningful.

This Christmas day is an opportunity to welcome our Wonderful Jesus into our hearts and lives. It is a time to invite the Holy Spirit to counsel and guide us in all that we have to do according to the will of God. With Christ in our hearts we can do mighty things for our Mighty God. Our personal relationship with the Prince of Peace will fill us with His peace that surpasses all understanding. As our everyday walk with Him gets closer, we can be sure we are ready to meet Him as the Everlasting Father.

It is the universal practice to give gifts to the birthday baby. Today, while we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the only gift that we can give Him is ourself. We can bear witness to Jesus and what He has done for us. We can show Him to the world in all that we do. Matthew 28:19 and 20 say: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Jesus has given us the authority to do the same works as Him. John 14:12 says, ”Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”. If we truly believe in Him, we will be able to give Him the gift of being His true witness all our days.

I pray the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. I wish you all a meaningful and blessed Christmas. Amen!

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