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 (NIV)
When Love Was Born
I am writing this on a mid-October day, when the temperatures are still fairly warm in Middle Tennessee. The leaves haven't even begun to hit their peak for fall changes yet. And while folks around us are just getting geared up for that other holiday at the end of this month, my church music buddies and I are already knee-deep into rehearsals for our churches' Christmas presentations.
Christmas is already on our minds! Hard to believe it's almost that time of year isn't it??? Stores are already putting up their decorations. Shoppers are already making the hunts for their treasures... We're looking up recipes, getting organized, and preparing for the busy days ahead.
And much to the chagrin of others, we're singing and playing Christmas music already.
Without a doubt, we’re already getting the looks as we drive around town, with windows down, Christmas music cranked up on the music players of our choice, rehearsing lines and are singing "Variations on Jingle Bells" at the top of our lungs…
As my friend, Kevin says, “Yes. We’re church musicians. We fa-la-la-la-la in October!”
And if you read the scripture passage I placed at the top of the page, I’ll bet you are singing some familiar words from The Messiah right about now, aren’t you??? (Or if you’re more of an instrumental type, you’re playing your favorite instrumental part in your head!) That will put you into the mood for Christmas, won't it?!?
“For unto us a child is born… Unto us… A Son is given… Unto us… A Son is given… For unto us a child is born… And the government shall be upon His shoulders…. And His name shall be call-ed… Wonderful… Counselor… The Mighty God… The Everlasting Father… The Prince of Peace… The Everlasting Father… The Prince of Peace.”
When Handel wrote his infamous work, The Messiah, much of the text was taken straight from the Bible. And what a wonderful text he chose!
Make no mistake. When Isaiah wrote those words, his intent was clear: he was declaring that God had promised a Messiah, and he would save the people from their sins! He (Isaiah) was relying solely on the promise that God would follow through with His promise to send a Messiah. This was something that only God could do! No man could do what God had promised.
Long before Isaiah penned his words, or before Handel penned The Messiah, God had decided that there would be a Promised One.
.... Long before the angels sang their first note.
…. Long before the shepherds watched their flocks.
…. Long before the stars were made.
…..Long before the manger was built.
…. Long before Bethlehem.
…. Long before wise men came from the East.
…. Long before the foundations of the earth.
…. Long before you and I were even a twinkle in God’s eye….
Love was born!
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10 (NIV)