Summary: The prophecy of Isaiah...

Wonderful Counselor

Beartown Road Alliance Church

December 2nd, 2007

As I was sitting in my office this week and beginning to prepare for this message, I kept coming back to one thought; it can’t possibly be December already. Why is it that when you are a kid, Christmas always seems like it’s so far away but somehow, when we grow up, it seems like we just cleaned up the wrapping paper and finished off the cookies from last year. Christmas is here again! That means it’s time to figure out what gift I should get my wife!

Shopping is probably the toughest part of Christmas for me, but every once in a while I stumble upon the perfect gift. You know how excited you get when you know that you’ve gotten it right. You can’t wait to give the gift. You can picture the response you’re going to get and the look on the face of the one who is receiving the gift. Maybe you give little hints about what it is and you wait for just the right moment to give it. That’s how I picture God on that first Christmas morning. As Jesus is born, He can barely contain His excitement! He has a gift that was well thought out and planned and one that when the time was just right, Scripture says in the fullness of time, God eagerly gave so that His creation could once again know Him and have communion with Him.

You can picture the joy and excitement overflowing, the moment that all of history had pointed to was here. The plan that He had put into effect the moment that sin had entered the world was about to happen. A Son was born. God just had to tell someone! I can remember those first few phone calls after Ethan was born. I was so excited as I shared the news. I called everyone I could think of and gave them all of the details and God, in the role of proud Father did the same. He put a birth announcement in the sky, a new star that drew the Magi from the East to the baby’s side to worship. He sent His angels out with the news as well, and instead of trumpeting the birth of His Son to royalty and in the halls of government and leadership, He sends His heavenly chorus to a group of shepherds. There on a hillside, those angels announce the arrival of the King, of the Messiah.

LK 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." LK 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, LK 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Can you hear the excitement of God? He has the angel tell the shepherds that a Savior had been born. He tells them what to look for, the baby won’t look like, He’s not going to be well dressed or in a fancy bed, but don’t let that fool you, this is the One. And just in case they weren’t paying attention, Luke says a great company of the heavenly host appeared and sang God’s praises. Wow! God wanted everyone to know. He made sure everything was the way that He wanted, right down to what the baby would be named.

Naming a child is intimidating. There is a lot of time and thought that need to go into it. I remember sitting for hours, with Erin, going through a baby name book. Every name had to be analyzed for how easy it was to make fun of. We wanted to avoid names that rhymed with embarrassing things so that our kid could survive on the school playgrounds. We also wanted a name that would fit who we wanted our son to be, that’s meaning would stand for and express faith and strength. You go through the meanings and you look for names that mean strong warrior, or loved by God, or pride of his father. You want to avoid the ones that are Latin for weasel! We chose Ethan, in part because it meant steadfast and firm. That’s a good solid name. There are some who go with family names, or Bible names. Names that honor someone you love and respect. It’s a very important decision.

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