For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6

This week, our bible beading plan takes us to the Book of Isaiah. The prophet Isaiah is generally considered to be the greatest prophet. Coincidentally, Isaiah 9:6 is a traditional Christmas text, a prophetic message of hope that points to the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. It was a dark period for mankind and God's answer to our biggest problem is a baby child. Jesus was a gift to us, sinners in need of a way out of death. God didn't have to make a list and check it twice, because not one name was listed on the "nice list." Jesus didn't come because we did anything good, he came despite us being bad. There are four names given to Jesus  in Isaiah 9:6 -- Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. As the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus has the best guidance for us. As Mighty God, Jesus has power and authority to defeat our enemies. As Everlasting Father, Jesus loves and cares for us as a father cares for his children forever. And as Prince of Peace, he reconciles us and makes us complete. These names demonstrate that there is no reason to not follow Jesus! For most Americans, Christmas has become a commercialized hectic season without joy, hope, love, nor peace. Many of us have forgotten what Christmas is all about - God's gift to us, sinners. As God brings this timely verse to us today, let us reflect on the greatest gift God has given us and give him the glory He deserves. Let us follow Him.

Merry Christmas!