Advent is the season in which we prepare for the arrival of the infant Jesus. We will spend the next few weeks together talking and reading about who Jesus is and what he set out to do as he moved into the neighborhood to be with us. The word advent means “arrival.” It is a time when we wait for and anticipate the arrival of baby Jesus—while also contemplating Jesus’ return.
Throughout the next few weeks, we will be looking at Isaiah 9, a prophecy of Jesus the Messiah, and how he embodies the four names given to him.
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.
The first week of Advent is all about Hope. What does hope mean to you?
In Isaiah 9:6, one of the names given to Jesus is Mighty God. This feels totally counter-intuitive as we read about a prophecy for a baby. Babies are the least powerful and most helpless of any human. They can’t do anything on their own. They are defenseless and entirely dependent on someone else taking care of them. But Isaiah foretells that even in his infancy, Jesus will be called “Mighty God.”
Have you ever noticed how much we enjoy singing about the mightiness of Jesus during Christmas? A favorite Christmas carol for many, O Holy Night, reads “Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother, And in His name all oppression shall cease.” It’s a beautiful picture to put the fullness of the Mighty God into a tiny little baby. It is one of the most pure and clear examples we have of the greatness of the love of God for us. That the Father and Son would choose to have Jesus spend years as a baby and toddler and little kid while bearing all of the mightiness of being God. The God of the universe, Jesus himself, our Savior, chose to come as a baby so that he could fulfill all that was set before him, knowing full well what it was going to mean for him.
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.
Read Isaiah 9:6-7 together. Talk together and imagine all the power and mightiness of God, the Creator of the Universe, embodied in the tiny, vulnerable, human baby Jesus. Share with your kids what it was like to care for them as babies. It was a huge deal that God became a human!
We can have hope for big things, even when hope feels small.