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)
I am not very good at shopping ahead of time for Christmas. Fortunately I have avoided the last minute shopping at the mini-mart for gifts, but it has come too close a few times. My wife, on the other hand, is the picture of organization and planning ahead. She starts buying presents for the next Christmas the first week of January. She has a budget and lists of kid’s names and remembers what everyone likes and dislikes. Between the two of us, you would definitely want her to get your name in a gift exchange.
There is no doubt that my wife reflects a characteristic about Christmas that we may not always consider: that the perfect gift came at the perfect time and was planned before the creation of the world. How awesome is it to know that Christ’s birth wasn’t reactionary or a move of desperation? From the beginning of time, through dozens of generations, thousands of years and the stubbornness of human will, God prepared the world for the coming of His Son. The fulfillment of prophecy and the promise of salvation spoken of from the Garden and throughout all history – talk about planning ahead.
The amazing truth of this is that God takes the same pains to bring us to the gift He sent in His Son as He took in bring His Son to a humble manger in Bethlehem. Every day He has prepared gifts that will bring us closer to Him. Every day He has put in place what we need for that day. On that first Christmas, God sent His Son to bring love and salvation to a dying world, and He is still sending that gift each day to those who are willing to receive Him.
During this Christmas season remember the God who plans ahead. Remember that there is wisdom for you from the Wonderful counselor, there is power to overcome the world in our Mighty God, there is hope for a life to come with our Everlasting Father and we have a gracious Lord in the Prince of Peace.