Each week of Advent, I’ll be posting two reflections on a different name of Jesus as given in Isaiah 9:6. This week’s name is “Wonderful.”
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. – Isaiah 9:6.
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
Because Jesus is God, he knows everything about us: inside and out; past, present and future. Because Jesus lived among us, as one of us, he knows what it is like to live with human feelings, needs, and limitations. As fully God and fully human, Jesus offers us his wondrous love: complete, intimate knowledge matched by his complete empathy and compassion.
Advent is a season of expectation and faith. When the angel came to Mary, to tell her that she would be the mother of God’s son, the Messiah, Mary had no way to fully understand what she was being told. It was completely outside of her knowledge or experience. But she responded with these words of trust: “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true” (Luke 1:38). She believed and expected that God would make his words happen, just as he said.
During your prayer time today, speak to the One who knows you completely and loves you more than you can imagine. Ask Jesus to tell you something about yourself that he wants you to know, something that will bring you new life. He may name one of your gifts, tell you something about your present or future calling, tell you a truth about who you are, or simply tell you something that he loves about you.
When Jesus has spoken to you, respond in faith, using Mary’s words: “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”
Sometimes, because of how we have been hurt, or because of the things that we fear, it can be hard to believe Jesus when he says good things about us. If you are experiencing fear or doubt in response to Jesus’ words for you, ask Jesus to help you identify the root of those emotions. Ask him for healing and for increased faith.
Finally, consider how you would live differently if you did believe what Jesus has said to you – if you trusted Jesus to make it true, even if you can’t see it yet. In this first week of Advent, ask Jesus what step of obedience you can take. Is there a concrete action that will bring you closer to living out Jesus’ new and life for you?