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Fourth Week of Advent, Sunday, December 20, 2020

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
kids dressed as angels singing

For children, the Advent season is a time of excitement and expectation. They eagerly look forward to taking part in Christmas programs, helping parents prepare for celebrations and learning the story of Christ’s birth. Their joy and anticipation are inspiring and refreshing to see, even if their tinsel halos are a bit crooked or they become shy when confronted with an audience.

In this verse, Isaiah foretells the coming of Christ as a longed-for child, a gift not just to Mary and Joseph, but to the world. He envisions Christ as a ruler who is a counselor, advising and advocating; a God, strong and powerful; a father, reliable and loving; a prince, peaceful and caring. In these few words, we can see the story of Christ coming to earth as a baby and then ruling as Lord when He will come in glory.

Meanwhile, we who live in the time between the first and second Advent will watch and prepare for His coming, just as our forebears have done for centuries. In this especially difficult year, the message of Advent—– that Christ brings hope, peace, joy and love— takes on new meaning. It reminds us that the Child whose birth we celebrate at Christmas will one day sweep away all earthly troubles and take the government upon His shoulders, in unity and triumph.

With that in mind, even those of us whose tinsel-halo days are past can still observe Advent with the joyous, hopeful perspective of children, watching and waiting.

Caroline Cardwell