“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given” (Isa. 9:6a)
At Christmas time, we often celebrate the first part of this stanza, “unto us a child is born.” We set up nativity sets that show a baby in a manger. We sing “Away in a Manger” and “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem.” We stage plays at church given to us by the children that tell the story of the Christ-child from Luke chapter 2. We talk of “Baby Jesus,” of whom we’ve awaited throughout all this waiting period that we call Advent.
It’s easy to think of a child who the Lord has sent to bring hope and peace. Babies are cute and pleasing for us to gaze upon. Even the most normal baby can bring us a sense of hope and peace; what more a child, a baby, sent by Yahweh Himself to bring “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”
But what of the second part, “unto us a son is given”? You see, the baby only brings peace because he is the Son of God. Furthermore, the Son will grow. He will live a perfect God-pleasing life in our stead. He will give his life and die on a tree for us. He will die to pay the price for our sin. To most, their children (sons and daughters alike) are the most precious things in their lives. So, at Christmas, we easily remember the baby in the manger, but let us also ponder the Son, the precious Son of God, given as a ransom and sacrifice for us, that we too might be called children of God.
God was not content to have one precious child. He desired that you too be called, and truly be, children of God. Thus, God gave that which was most precious to him so that you might be his own child and live with him in everlasting peace and blessedness. So, at Christmas let us look both to the baby in the manger and the Son given for you, and to Easter and the Son risen from the dead as the firstfruits of your resurrection. The Lord of Hosts will come again in glory with all his angels. His Advent is once again close at hand. And when he comes again, on account of the baby and the Son, he will look at you and say, “Well done my child, enter into the kingdom and receive all of my blessings which are now yours.”
Merry Christmas to you and all of God’s children on account of Christ.