7 December 2021
Mighty God, Everlasting Father
Hello all. As I write this, the weather has turned cold and chilly. I’m working from home today, and as I look out the window it is grey and raining… it even might be trying to snow!
Advent comes to us, here in the Northern hemisphere, at a time where the earth around us is preparing for Winter. It is a time of emptiness, of decline. The harvest is over and now all must go to sleep. It certainly looks like that out of my window. The trees have lost their leaves, the garden looks bare and desolate… and yet I know that, come spring, the leaves will return, the flowers will bloom and the fields will be full of corn!
For the people of Israel, who were walking in darkness, Isaiah had a message of hope, of Spring after Winter. And what a message it was! A message of a new King to come. A King who would lead the world to righteousness and peace.
As Alan explored in the previous blog, the description of this new King is pretty amazing - what a King to place our hopes in!
For unto us a child is born
For to us a son is given
and the government will be upon his shoulders
and he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
However, if you think through the passage, the descriptions are not necessarily what you would expect when describing a King. Alan looked at “Wonderful Counsellor”, but how do “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father” fit into the job description? We are lucky to be able to look at this through the prism of Jesus, the one whom Isaiah spoke about so many years before. But even so, these are some statements to be making. Isaiah doesn’t mince his words. Jesus' oneness with God is clear to see!
Shall we turn first to Isaiah’s naming of him as Mighty God?
When I think of Mighty God, all I can think of is the children’s song, “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There’s nothing that He cannot do!” It goes on to say: “The mountains are his, the rivers are his, the stars are his handiwork too”. This is the God of creation, the God of the storm, the God of the sunrise, the God of life, death, and all that there is, before, between and after.
But there’s more! Isaiah goes on to declare that this King, Jesus, is not only Mighty God, but Everlasting Father too. This Mighty God, creator of all, is also our loving Father. And not just yours and mine… this parenthood is one for all Gentiles – that’s all of us!
When we say the Lord’s prayer, as has been said millions and millions of times across the world, and across history, we pray to our Father. In this world, there is still suffering and pain and death. Our lives here are transitory. But we have hope. Hope in this great King, this Mighty God, this Everlasting Father, whom Isaiah spoke of many years ago, and whom we have come to know in our hearts.
But there are many who still walk in darkness, who do not yet know Jesus the great King.
In refugee camps across the middle east, millions of children are growing up in a world where they have lost everything: their homes, family, friends, futures, hope. Their lives are bleak, empty, desolate. There are children who grow up unable to go to school, with insufficient food, without proper shelter, water, clothing. Their lives are as bare as the trees in my garden, and their futures must feel as hopeless as that of the Israelites thousands of years ago. But there is hope. They are loved by our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father.
His message of hope, of light in the darkness is as much for them as it is for us, if not more.
In Lebanon, The Free Evangelical Association of Lebanon (FEAL) has been working with some of these refugees since the Syrian crisis first began. To help them share that light, you can support their work by purchasing the Freedom Gift ‘Care for a Child Refugee’. FEAL provides practical support, as well as sharing about our Everlasting Father, our Mighty God, our Light in the darkness.
As I look out of my window now, the rain has passed, and a rainbow is shining over a leafless tree. The rainbow is yet another message of hope sent from God, only this time He didn’t need Isaiah to translate! The rainbow is a sign that is shared all over this world. It can be seen from my home in rural Lincolnshire as easily as in the refugee camps in Lebanon and beyond. I pray that, for all of us this Christmas time, we will all find hope, that we will all see and know the Light in the darkness that is Jesus Christ, Mighty God and Everlasting Father.
Merry Christmas everyone. May the light of Christ shine brightly upon you and all whom you love this Christmas time and always.
By Jenny Hunt, WorldShare’s Finance Manager