"To us a Child of hope is born, To us a Son is giv'n, And on His shoulder ever rests, All pow'r in earth and heav'n, All pow'r in earth and heav'n.
"His name shall be the Prince of Peace, The Everlasting Lord, The Wonderful, the Counselor, The God by all adored, The God by all adored."
Who is the Child of hope born to us? At His birth, a few people understood the Child's identity, but they knew about Him only through divine revelation. Mary and Joseph knew who He was because angelic messengers told them about Mary's firstborn Son. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Child would be the Son of the Most High God. The Holy Child would save His people from their sins. An angel announced to shepherds that the baby born that day was the long-awaited Savior, Christ the Lord. The wise men followed a star and in Herod's palace learned from the Scriptures that the new King of the Jews was to be born in Bethlehem.
The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Child of hope and confirmed His identity. Mary's firstborn Son would be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6b). Our hymn echoes what the prophet foretold. This Holy Child is "the God by all adored." The swaddled infant in the manger is God in human flesh, Jesus, God the Son, who would reign over a kingdom that has no end.
Yet before "all pow'r in earth and heav'n" would rest on His shoulder, the Holy Child grew up to shoulder a terrible burden. The God by all adored, who long ago in Eden decreed the penalty of death for sin, took that penalty of death onto Himself. Jesus took onto Himself the sins of the world, bearing them in His own body on the cross. Then, on the first Easter morning, the Prince of Peace rose from the dead. The risen and exalted Lord received "all pow'r in earth and heav'n." Through faith in Jesus, we have forgiveness for our sins and the hope of eternal life.
Jesus once asked His disciples about popular opinions concerning His identity: "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" (Matthew 16:13b). A variety of incorrect opinions had been suggested. Then Jesus asked the disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matthew 16:15b). Simon Peter knew the identity of the Holy Child, now grown to adulthood, but the disciple's answer came only through divine revelation. In an answer revealed by God the Father, Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16b). How would you answer Jesus' question? Who is the Child of hope born to us?
WE PRAY: Jesus, You are the mighty God, the Prince of Peace. Reign in my life now and forever. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "The People That in Darkness Sat," which is number 412 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Do you have a favorite praise song? What is it?
2. What must it have been like for the disciples to realize that Jesus was the Son of God?
3. How would knowing that change the way you lived your life?
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