Merry Christmas

I have not sent out any cards yet.

This is the first one – the first MERRY CHRISTMAS written this year.

Recall the famously known prophecy, even Charlie Brown’s Linus recited it: ” 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 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

For “to us”…. repeated twice. Us, meaning all – everyone – no one left out!

To all of us, a child, a son, is given. 

THIS is the MERRY CHRISTMAS: baby Jesus born in the manger – deity, God, made human – for to us.

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Not for the idyllic creche decorations to don the mantels…

Not for the theme of Sunday school plays so the girls can be angels and the boys can play shepherds with cotton beards…

But, for to us, with a purpose: “and the government will be upon his shoulders.”  

What?

Picture this: our government, the United States government, and every other world nation government stacked up on the shoulders of this Jesus like Atlas carrying the world….the image that He holds it all, He carries it all…. BUT – unlike Atlas, Jesus…. He rules over it all.  The prophecy from Isaiah points to a time when the full purpose of Jesus is revealed and His government rules over all governments.

Fast forward to another famously known verse, the one that people raise up in the football stands: John 3:16 — “he gave his one and only son” – the verb, gave, is the action and points to the cross where Jesus died. Just like the story, If you give a Mouse a Cookie, one thing leads to the next.  Jesus died, so that he could be buried, so that he could rise from the dead, so that he could appear to many – alive, so that he could ascend to the heavens and sit at the right hand of the father, God, so that he could await for his return to the earth and save his people,

so that finally – HIS pure government will rulethere will be no other governments left.

But for now… He rules from heaven and nothing on earth happens unless power is given it by God – the government is on His shoulders, and He rules even now, over it all.

Jesus is Wonderful — because He does great things with love…

Jesus is Counselor — because he guides and directs even those who do not know Him because He is sovereign and in charge of it all…

Jesus is Mighty God — because there is no one who holds more power…

Jesus is Everlasting Father — because He and the Father are one, always existing, timeless, having no end…

Jesus is Prince of Peace — because he came to earth as a baby, died as a man, and defeated death as a King, all for the purpose of offering us PEACE in a place where there will be no more tears, just peace, forever.

Jesus in the manger, came for everyone!

Jesus on the cross, died for everyone!

Jesus in heaven, loves everyone!

Merry Christmas to you all – everyone who breathes air on this earth!

Borrowing the words of Charles Dickens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSyx6DaUwxA

Not Even a Nickel Needed

“Psychiatric Help 5 cents —— The Doctor is IN”

Remember this?

The Lemonade stand revamped and Lucy, smugly standing and waiting for Good O’le Charlie Brown to come and unload his downcast concerns.

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Herein lies the stereotypical scene of the counselor.  The one who is ready and waiting to hear the troubles and woes of someone.  The one who is prepared to help and advise someone. The one who cares for the well-being and healing of someone….for a price.        A mere nickel or more.

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Not even a nickel needed,

the Baby Jesus was born with all this counseling capacity.  

He would grow to be, and remains to be, the ultimate Counselor.  And yet…He is even more than this stereotypical Counselor that hears our troubles and woes and helps and advises and cares and heals.

“And he shall be called Wonderful Counselor…”  Isaiah 9:6b

He is the Wonderful Counselor.  

The One who over-arcs all as counselor that makes the plans,

determining and deciding,

and who is holding all things accountable to unfold according to His plans.

Like a seed.

For to us….Baby Jesus.

Given…Jesus.

With the government upon His shoulders….He is the Wonderful Counselor.

Like a seed,

this little Baby Jesus we tenderly view in the manger, embodied all the fullness of potential – planning, determining, deciding, holding all things accountable to Himself.

Ponder.

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As did his mother Mary.  We too need to ponder this Wonderful Counselor.

Not even a nickel needed.

How awesome is it to be the recipient of such an all encompassing fullness within the gift of the Baby Jesus?

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Next up:  Jesus wrapped in armor….stay tuned.

The Honest Truth

I love to watch Christmas movies.

Charlie Brown’s Christmas is among my family’s favorites! Down to earth humor alongside honest truth. Linus, though portrayed as the younger, more insecure character holding his blanket, often comes through with the honest truth.

Linus quotes from Isaiah 9:6 (KJV),

“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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” 

This is how Linus explains the honest truth about Christmas to the ever depressed and clue-less Charlie Brown.

“For unto us”…

It always starts at the beginning.

Us.  Who are we anyway?

Quoting from Genesis 1:27 (NIV),

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

We are God’s creation.  Formed in the womb by Him.  Logically, honestly and truthfully we are God’s children; a people belonging to Him, because we are made by Him.

I am going to take the liberty to make a broad summation – and it may sound a little strange…but I am going to say:

“For unto us”…Christmas exists.

It was for us that the Child was born.

It was for us that a Son was given.

Wow.

It’s kind of humbling to think of Christmas like that; and that is the honest truth.

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Join me over the next few days as I attempt to make sense of the passage that Linus so aptly quoted!