For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Ever since the year I downsized Christmas, decorating is quick and easy. Garland and a few nativity scenes on the mantel, a four-foot tree and a handful of ornaments go up in less time than it takes to run through my Christmas playlist on ITunes. I can do it all myself even with one hand. Except for two new signs I made this year. Those required some help. Sessions at a craft store in our community are the latest craze among my circle of friends. The shop provides a plain wooden sign in a variety of shapes and sizes. You order a stencil to create a design and use their paint and tools to finish your piece. In the last year, I made a long “plank” sign that says, “Merry Christmas” and a large rectangular sign that says, “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The first sign turned out well, and I couldn’t wait to hang it this year. Glen had to put a wire on the back because I took so much time painting that I couldn’t finish it. The bright green and pink colors add a Florida touch to our living room. The rectangular sign hangs over the mantel. I painted it in January and worried about it for months. I even thought about taking it back and doing it over. I used too much paint and the “I” in mighty bled outside the stencil. I used white paint to cover it up, but felt like it only made the mess more noticeable. I decided to put it in the attic until Christmas when I would sand the touchup paint down. But, I worried that would make a bigger mess. Every time I thought about the mistake, I cringed. My opinion didn’t change when I saw the sign again after eight months, but my helper was in a hurry to get his part of the decorating done so he could go back to ignoring the holiday. I agreed he should go ahead and hang it over mantle. Something funny happened when he did. That mistake I had been fretting over all year diminished when the sign was hung. What I studied with a microscopic view was not nearly as noticeable from afar. It was all about my perspective. Isn’t that what Christ came to do? Change our perspective? While the prophet, Isaiah, knew God as a “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”, it is hard for us humans so removed from Him to comprehend God in those ways. Jesus came in human form to put flesh on those names. “Abba Father”-Daddy. The One we can have an intimate relationship with. Jesus came to bring peace and hope for the future. To provide a way for our mistakes not only to be diminished with the passage of time and distance but to forgive and redeem them, making something beautiful from our past. I see the sign and its names with greater clarity now.