During Advent, we often read or hear the words of Isaiah 9:6, but to read the surrounding verses can be just as intriguing and may even give more meaning to the names we read: wonderful counselor, mighty God, etc.
Take, for instance, verses three and four which speak to two of the most gracious acts of God: multiplying the nation and removing our burden. For us, these are figurative reminders of all that life in Christ means, which includes being part of a new nation or family. Living with Christ means that one day all oppression will cease and all burdens will be lifted. Life with Christ is a life full of the knowledge of all that Christ has already done for us, as well as the great hope of what is to come.
It is the start of verse seven that has truly raised my appreciation of verse six, though. Year by year, day by day, moment by moment the power of Christ in this world grows—but this verse also incorporates the future hope of an endless peace that shall overcome this world.
This advent season, pray for the truth of these words. Pray that more and more children would see and feel the love of Christ in their lives; that oppression would cease and help it to be so. Pray for the day when we shall live in a world of endless peace and know that there are countless steps we each can take to help usher in these promises of God. After all, if the birth of a tiny baby could get it all going, you better believe each of us has the power to help it along!
(Note: the above is original content written by this author in 2004. I suggest having a journal and Bible on-hand when you sit down with this devotional in order to complete the full aspects of it.)