For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder, 

and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah. 9:6

 


Dear Friends,

 Amid all the distractions and pressures of the Christmas season, it’s hardly surprising that I would write a letter to you this month encouraging you to slow down and challenging you to focus on the celebration of the magnificent birth of Jesus. But as the wise old saying tells us, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” So let’s go back to Isaiah 9, again and again, to remind ourselves about this wonderful celebration of hope for the people of Israel and for us today.

 

Christmas is a time to gather friends and family to worship and rejoice over the Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace that has been given to us. The season is a gift for everyone!

It’s an invitation for all to come and see and worship this everlasting gift given to us by our great God.

 

What does that mean for you? What is one favorite Christmas memory or tradition of yours that focuses on the birth of Jesus? When I was growing up, we always went to a church service on Christmas Eve. The whole family would stay up to participate together and then come home to enjoy a dinner of celebration. These special events helped us focus on the birth of Jesus and give thanks before our eyes turned to the enticing gifts under the Christmas tree.

 

This December, let us pray each day with a joyful heart because God has given us a Wonderful Counselor who will never leave us or forsake us. And let us remember that this is a time to celebrate the hope of a new future and an invitation to come and see the Prince of Peace.

 

Open your eyes and hearts to see, “For to us  a child is born …”

 

Merry Christmas! May your hearts be filled with God’s love and your prayers filled with thanksgiving and joy.

 

Dr. Peggy Banks
Global Ministry Director