This passage originally served as an oracle for the coronation of a Judean king, probably good king Hezekiah. We consider it an oracle for the coronation of Jesus, our “King of kings and Lord of lords!” Jesus, born in a manger, washed in water, rubbed with salt, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and circumcised on the eighth day, was truly human. The names given for the divine Son on His coronation day are “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace”.
It was said when Steve and I went to India in 1959 with a newborn son that we were so blessed to have a son given to us. And so we were! There is rejoicing in India at the birth of a son…lineage is assured, a dowry will not be needed at the time of marriage, and hope for the future of the family enterprise is assured (There is a son to work in the fields or in the business. There is a son to perform the last rites when father dies).
Now, 54 years later, sons continue to be the sex of choice in India. India’s daughters continue to seek justice. Patriarchy aside, the message of “a child has been born for us, a son given to us” is a cause for rejoicing! God comes to us as a baby son in a manger. He is terribly, simply with us. And our shadows with arms outstretched to receive Him, fall across the manger in the form of a cross.
Dear God, you have given us your Son Jesus, your only Son and we accept this gift with praise and thanksgiving.
Barbara Kolumban Schmitthenner