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Everlasting Father

Isaiah 9:6-7 (VOICE)
Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,
    a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift.
And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great.
    The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders.
His name? His name we’ll know in many ways—
    He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing,
    Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.
His leadership will bring such prosperity as you’ve never seen before— 
    sustainable peace for all time.
This child: God’s promise to David—a throne forever, among us,
    to restore sound leadership that cannot be perverted or shaken.
He will ensure justice without fail and absolute equity. Always.
    The intense passion of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies,
    will carry this to completion.

Throughout this Advent season we have looked at the different way Jesus has fulfilled the Isaiah 9 prophecy through being Mighty God, Prince of Peace and Wonderful Counselor. This week as we step into the theme of Joy, our focus will be on Jesus as Everlasting Father. As the VOICE translation says, “ever-present never-failing”. What a gift to not have to work for or question if there is a limit to the presence of God. There can be times in our lives when we feel far from Him, but he won’t leave us, his presence is always with us. And more than that, He is consistent and steady in his promise. Ever-present isn’t a quantity that can change. It is either there or it’s not.

Eugene Peterson writes:
He is no absent father. There is continuity in God and as we live in Him our lives have continuity. We escape the jumble of impressions and the chaos of experience. We don’t have to start each new day looking for something new to keep us going, to be happy or entertained.

Lectio Divina Practice
As you walk through the Lectio Divina today, read the scripture above and meditate on it, allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal himself to you.

  1. Silencio: Come into God’s presence. Quietly prepare your heart to meet with and hear from Him.  Slow down, relax, release the noisy thoughts that crowd your mind over to him.

  2. Lectio: Read the scripture above slowly and out loud, let words resonate with you. Be aware of words that stick out to you. When a word or phrase grabs your attention, stop reading. Sit with it. Open your hearts to what God is saying to you. Underline the phrase, make notes of what you’re hearing. Don’t analyze it or judge it. Listen and wait.

  3. Meditatio: Meditate. Read the Scripture a second time out loud. Savor the words. Listen for any invitation that God is extending to you in this word. Reflect on the importance of the words that light up to you.

  4. Oratio: Respond, pray. Read the Scripture a third time. Now is the moment to enter into a personal conversation with God. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The important thing is to respond truthfully and authentically. What feelings has the text brought about in you? Talk about where you are feeling resistant or want to push back, and of where you feel invited into a deeper way of being with God.

  5. Contemplatio: Contemplate, rest and wait in the presence of God. Allow some time for the word to sink deeply into your soul. Yield and surrender yourself to God. Before you leave, you might consider a reminder that can help you dwell on this word throughout the day.

Family Moments
Read Isaiah 9:6-7 together. Talk about how Jesus is an Everlasting Father. Together as a family make two lists. First, make a list of things that last a really long time. Second, make a list describing all of the jobs a Father does. Talk about what the word everlasting means. Explain that Jesus does all of the jobs of a father perfectly, and He does them forever! Spend some time praying together as a family thanking Jesus for all of the things He does for us.