“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). If I were to announce, “the King is coming, the King is coming,” many would look to Twitter, Facebook and internet news for images of a majestic entourage with onlookers and paparazzi poised to get a good look at the visage of royalty.
Despite His celestial and everlasting sovereignty, the King of Kings was welcomed not by throngs of people with waiting praise but by oxen, feed mangers, smelly stables and barn yard animals. For many, this would be considered unworthy of royalty, yet it is perfect for the King of Kings.
The disenfranchised, the little man, the forgotten and the outcast, will always know that Jesus is one of “us” because of the way he entered the earth realm. This Christmas season it is important that we see embodied in Jesus, the eternal promise given by God the Father as He spoke in the ancient scripture.
When I think of why it is important to know who “us” is, I think of one of my favorite Christmas specials regarding Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Our loveable, anguished Charlie Brown says:
I think there must be something wrong with me Linus. Christmas is coming,
but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I’m still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed.
It would be insincere to believe that many do not experience sadness, depression and even loneliness during this season of goodwill and joy. It is for these reasons that I encourage you to affirm your standing in the “us” group as often as you can.
For unto us a child is born. Well, who is the “us?” Perhaps the “us” is the single mom struggling to raise a child on her own. Perhaps the “us,” is the college student contemplating suicide. Perhaps the “us,” is the young male who is struggling to hold on to his virginity despite the teasing from the guys in the locker room. Perhaps the “us,” is the married mother who worries about paying for her HIV medication. Perhaps the “us,” is the Pastor who is ready to close the church because the congregation has told him he is no longer “cool” and “impressive.”
There is a reason that God does not define the “us.” “Us” is everyone. Every man, every woman, every boy and every girl. “Us” knows no tax bracket. “Us” is not defined by the color of our skin or our ethnicity. “Us” knows no gender, no class.
“Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” (John 17:2). This gift, remains the best gift of all, to all of “us.” In a world that sees division in borders, division in languages, division in politics, all of “us” can unify around the hope and promise that is Christ Jesus personified. “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.” (Luke 2:10).
The reason why we emphasize Jesus as the reason for the season is because we cannot lose sight of the fact that He is our hope. The prophet Isaiah says that Jesus came to meet the needs of the poor, the brokenhearted, the captives, those who mourn and grieve, and those who find themselves full of despair. The Prophet delivers the great news that Jesus wants to give “us” a crown of beauty and a garment of praise so that we may become oaks of righteousness. (Isaiah 61:1-3).
Make no mistake about it, this King of Kings who came to “us” in an old cave stable, remains the hope of this world. Make God’s promise alive in your heart, through the Christmas season and beyond. If we think about it, all of “us” can agree with C.S. Lewis when he said, “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons [and daughters] of God.” Dear reader, know that you are indeed part of the “us.” Joy to the world…….the Lord is come!
Elder Jerome Woods, II is the husband of Alana M. Woods and is the son of the late Jerome Woods, Sr. and Larina Woods. He is a Washington, D.C. native and associate Elder at High Calling Ministries pastored by George W. Hawkins, Jr. Elder Woods is a graduate of The George Washington University (1994) where he received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with minors in Sociology and Latin Classical Humanities. Elder Woods received his Juris Doctorate in 1997 from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.