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).
I can never read Isaiah 9:6 without hearing Handel’s Messiah,” movement 12, in my head. “For Unto us a Child is Born” begins with sparse instrumentation, and then the chorus breaks out with such joy and warmth it brings tears to my eyes: “Wonderful . . .” That word moves me every time.
Of all the names, “Wonderful Counselor” tends to stand out most to me perhaps because I am a therapist and have myself benefited from therapy. I love that with Jesus I don’t have to tell my story, which is always an exhausting and difficult task, because he already knows everything. I don’t have to worry that he will misunderstand or judge me. Nor does he limit me to an hour of His time. In fact, he’s available 24/7!
To imagine our Messiah as King of kings and Lord of lords is awe-inspiring, though we may never experience the ecstasy of George Frederick Handel. It took him only about three to four weeks to compose his famous oratorio set to 81 Bible verses. During that time he barely ate or slept. His servant found him in tears one day while writing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Handel explained, “I did think I did see all heaven before me, and the great God himself seated on his throne, with his company of angels.”
This joy of heaven is ours! For to us a child is born, and it is wonderful. Simply wonderful.
Prince of Peace, what encouragement to anticipate that “the government will be upon your shoulders.” Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Published with Lifesprings International November 29, 2022.
As part of your reflection, why not listen to Handel’s “For Unto Us A Child Is Born”: