Unto Us a Son is Given – Isaiah 9:6

It is easy to think of this passage during Christmas.  Handel’s Messiah, and others put it in joyful song.  Everything about Christmas is joyful, right?

There is a part of me that also sees the other side.  And the 3rd side as well.

A couple of years ago, a pastor made the comment that “there are only so many ways to do Christmas”.  I was cut to the heart.  I did Christmas too,  And although my early experiences of Christmas were ones that made me wish that we didn’t have to celebrate it, I realized that I had replaced the joyous traditions of Christmas with traditions of disengagement.  I still did Christmas.

So I asked Jesus, what was it like as the time of being born as a child approached.  He said that He felt confident.  It was a good plan.  It was a loving plan.  It was a plan of unity with The Father, and Holy Spirit.  It was the right time.  He was confident.

Later, as I have watched my son grow, and face adversity, and evil, my heart aches for him.  So I began to sense The Father’s heart.  Psychologists might call it conflicted.  He knew that His Son was going to do what it took to establish, indeed be, the Way for His other sons and daughters to have their sin taken from them, and come into adoption and fellowship with Him.  But, it would mean that He would have to give His Son.  His only begotten Son.

Any parent would rather bear a pain rather than have their child bear it.  Parents can simultaneously be proud of their children for the courage, and fearful of what it will cost them.  But, unlike so many that said The Father forsook Jesus at the cross, I don’t think that (Jesus was starting to say/pray Psalm 22, a psalm that begins with the question of “Where are You, God?”, but ends with confidence and faith that He has been there all along.)  I think that The Father was there all along.  Having known that Jesus would die, just as Jesus did.  Having gone into a grief so big that it would swallow anyone but God Himself.  Knowing as well, the joy set before Him.  But the grief, and agony of not being able to step in and take the pain for Jesus, is unimaginable.

So what right do we have to joyously sing that a Son is given?  And, what does it mean to receive a son, let alone The Son, the only Son of The Father.

I am not sure that I will stay here.  But I need to linger here a while, in pain, with The Father.

The Father also has a joy set before Him, just as the Son does.  It is the marriage supper of the Lamb.  And I can relate to that too.  I so much want a godly young woman to be brought to my son as well. One who knows how to worship, and be kind, and listen, and not presume, and not judge, and play, and celebrate.  One who knows who God has created her to be.  And will surrender to Him in order to receive it, being comfortable wherever she is on the path of the good work that He has begun.

But, that is for another time, possibly soon.  Because it just might be that The Father needed to know that Jesus was doing this for His bride.  And she will be a bride, also conceived in the heart of The Father.

After I wrote this, I was reminded to come to His table.  So I got the bread and the grape juice and sat down to remember Jesus.  I was tired.  It was the end of a long day.  There was news that I have to receive by faith that is a part of His plan, or that He will reveal a way around it.  And, as I started to settle to thinking about Jesus, I heard “Just receive it.  The covenant is for you.”  So I did.  And as I was, I realized that the giving is in His heart.  I am always receiving.

And I remembered the covenant.  The Father’s commitment was to love me as He loves Jesus.  If He didn’t grieve to the depths having Jesus die, instead of Himself, then He wouldn’t grieve deeply, when in His love and wisdom, He calls us through tough, painful, times of suffering.  But He does grieve as well as love.  Jesus said that when we have seen Him, we have seen The Father.  It is also said of Jesus that He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  As always, He suffers for us.