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Wonderful Counselor

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.

What does Love have to do with Jesus being the Wonderful Counselor? Our culture has moved forward in a lot of good ways in allowing people space to talk about therapy and seeking counsel from others. We still have a long way to go but I think this forward motion does allow is to better understand Isaiah’s words in Jesus’ name being Wonderful Counselor.

Eugene Peterson writes:
He is not a dictator. He listens more than he talks. He comprehends our needs and helps us find ways to meet them. He pays attention to us. When we are in his presence, we know we are significant, important, unique. And the result is that we find a will and the means to live with zest.

Like any good counselor, Jesus sees us and listens to us. This seems like a simple thing, but in a world where loneliness runs rampant, being seen and known can be the first step to living a life of hope, peace, love and joy. Accepting the love of Jesus changes everything. It gives us a new perspective on ourselves and our fellow humans. When we accept the love of our Wonderful Counselor is makes space for working toward and caring about others and that leads to living in peace and working towards the flourishing of all creation.

We are in week three of advent. Are you seeing that these 4 names and these 4 themes aren’t mutually exclusive? They live in tandem with one another. Jesus is simultaneously Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father. As we continue the second half of Advent, be aware of you’re seeing Jesus fulfill all of these names and attributes.

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 a Wonderful Counselor who loves to listen to us about anything that we are feeling or experiencing. What are some things that your family could bring to the Wonderful Counselor today? Make a list and then pray as a family and take turns thanking Jesus for who he is and bringing anything to Him that you’re concerned about today. He loves you more than you can know and cares about everything that is in your life!