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 “Counselor.”
Guest writer: Mimi Otani, crazy4jazz.com
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.
So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.”
REFLECT AND PRAY
A good counselor is truthful as well as gracious. Jesus’ Apostles tell us that as we speak the truth in love, we will grow more like Christ (Eph 4:15).
Counselors guide others with words. Words, especially eloquent words, can have a strong effect on people. They can be wise or they can be unwise. They can help or hurt. Therefore, a speaker or writer must take great care before expressing them. Once uttered or published, words cannot be taken back – one cannot un-ring the bell.
If human words are powerful, then how much more powerful are God’s words? His words created the whole universe and the beginning of time. Such powerful words without grace could destroy us all.
But God’s power is not aimed at our destruction but at bringing us life. Jesus, the Word in human form, reveals the Father’s heart to us by “making his home among us.” He comes to us with love and a gentle spirit (1 Cor 4:21).
In your prayer time today, ask Jesus to reveal to you what kinds of words you have spoken today to yourself and to others. Ask Jesus to show you where your words have been hurtful or helpful, whether you have spoken truth with love or used it as a weapon. As Jesus brings your words to mind, respond with either thanks for how your words brought life or by asking for forgiveness for how they caused pain. Finally, ask Jesus to speak his own words to you. Consider bringing to him a problem or a question you have been dealing with, and hear what loving counsel he has for you this Advent season.
What have you heard from Jesus during your prayer time? He may be leading you to ask for forgiveness for harsh words spoken or inviting you to say something life-giving to a person you will encounter this week. Or, he may offer you steps to address the problem you are facing. Whatever Jesus says to you, offer him your love and gratitude for his presence with you, and respond in obedience.