For Unto Us a Child is Born

December 23, 2020

Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Do you have a favorite Christmas memory? Some events embed themselves in our memories in three-dimensional, Technicolor awareness, complete with smells, sensations, and emotional responses.

When I was 15 our family lived in London, England. My father, a classical music lover, bought tickets to Handel’s Messiah sing-along at the Royal Albert Hall. I vividly remember the glittering chandeliers, the sopranos in sequined gowns, the guests in black tie, and the holiday decorations. And the music. It filled the gilded, domed hall and took up all the space around us, bringing Isaiah’s words to musical, magical life.

Whenever I hear Handel’s Messiah, I recall that special Christmas experience, and I am filled with the joy of the season and the peace of Isaiah’s promise.

“For unto us a Child is born, a Son is given.” What a gift, what joy!

“And the government will be upon His shoulder.” In this season of pandemic and political upheaval, when human leadership seems unequal to the tasks at hand, there is such peace in Isaiah’s words. God has broad shoulders and he’s got all the world’s governments on them.

So, if you should see me in the grocery store or on the La Casa campus this month and it looks like I’m talking to myself (behind a mask of course), I’m most likely just humming a few bars and reliving a favorite Christmas memory.

Kim Atchison


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