Over the last two weekends, I’ve described Jesus as filling our need for a Wonderful Counselor, guiding us into the choices that are best for us, and as Mighty God, empowering us to follow through on those choices, which make us able to love Him and to love our neighbor as ourselves. These names come from from Isaiah 9:6, a prophecy from around 700 BC concerning the Christ we celebrate each Christmas:
“And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
In these names, Christ fulfills our needs, and according to James Boice, our third need is: “We are also individuals, but we sense that we are not meant to be alone. We want to belong somewhere. We need satisfying relationships.” In Isaiah 9:6, the third name of Jesus, the Christ of Christmas, is Everlasting Father, who invites all into His family as daughters and sons.
In this world, you may not like everyone in your family. Getting together for Christmas might come with mixed feelings and apprehension. You may not like “church” people you’ve met. But as close to man’s beginning as you can get (Genesis chapter 1), God created the family. His intention from the start was to build His family, and it needed people in it for Him to love. He wanted to give them the wisdom and power to become loving reflections of His own character.
The gift of Christ as Eternal Father means that He will accept us – as we are – into His family if we will receive Him. In John’s gospel, the apostle wrote: “To all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
By believing in Him, we can be adopted as sons and daughters, giving us a sense of belonging and fellowship, and removing our fear of rejection. He will accept us fully and eternally, nurturing and working with us to grow into the people He wants us to be. He knows everything you’ve done and will do, and everything you are and everything you will be.
The gift of Jesus as Everlasting Father meets one of our deepest needs: “To belong to someone! Jesus answers this need, because he is our Everlasting Father. Through him we are brought into God’s family.”
To be loved as you have never been before.
This is the third gift of Christ in Christmas.
The next post in the series is here.