December 19, 2021


Can you imagine being Jesus’ mother, Mary? She gave birth to Him in a smelly barn amid dirt and animals. There wasn’t a room in the inn, let alone in a state-of-the-art birthing center. I cannot fathom how she must have felt! I would’ve been disappointed and frankly, I would have been downright mad about the situation. Unlike me, Mary didn’t seem upset. While the circumstances weren’t ideal, she didn’t complain. Mary knew she was bringing forth a child who was the son of God—the gift to the world.

There were certainly imperfections at Jesus’ birth, and if we think about that first Christmas, it’s a great reminder that things don’t have to be perfect. In fact, things don’t have to be perfect in order to be celebrated. Most of us haven’t had a perfect year, but there are still a few things we can celebrate despite our circumstances. 

Pastor Holly reminded us on Sunday that we can celebrate four special gifts that were given to us on that first Christmas. They are ours to unwrap anytime.   

First, we can celebrate that Jesus is a WONDERFUL COUNSELOR. Wonderful in Hebrew is Pala. Pala means doing something extraordinary or difficult. It’s something that is outside of human explanation. God’s counseling is so great that it’s too much for our human minds to comprehend. He is the one and only counselor who gives us more options than we can even imagine!   

The second gift we were given on that very first Christmas is the gift of a MIGHTY GOD. When you are losing hope and at the end of your rope, you need a Mighty God who can show up and part the Red Sea. He can make a way when there is no way.

The third gift we were given on that first Christmas is the gift of an EVERLASTING FATHER. A father is someone who provides a safety net, and God is our ultimate safety net. Our Everlasting Father gives us reassurance. He’s got us. He’s the everlasting; He’s the Father who stays.

The fourth gift we were given on that first Christmas is the gift of a PRINCE OF PEACE. The Prince of Peace will give you a presence of calmness and a sense of unity. He will take away fear, anxiety, and stress. 

Jesus is the greatest gift. He never changes, but His title changes based on your needs. For example, your name might be Tracy. You’re known as Tracy, but your title may change depending on what someone needs from you. You might be a spouse, a parent, a leader, and a friend. If it’s your child who needs you, your name is Mom or Dad, not Tracy. 

Jesus is like that. He’s always our never-changing Savior, but His name changes based on what our specific needs are at the moment.

In all transparency, my husband has been experiencing debilitating depression and having panic attacks. I’m proud of him for seeking treatment and seeing a therapist. Currently, my spouse needs the PRINCE OF PEACE. While medication and therapy are helping, it’s ultimately the Prince of Peace who is sustaining him and delivering the calmness that his body and mind need to power through right now.  

As for myself, I’ve been scared because my husband is struggling. At times, I have felt helpless, like I’m at the end of my rope. However, I know without a shadow of doubt that I can continue clinging to our MIGHTY GOD who is faithful and just. It’s the Mighty God who’s giving me strength and helping me cope when I don’t know what to do to help my husband.

Who do you need during this season? Do you need the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR? The MIGHTY GOD? The EVERLASTING FATHER? The PRINCE OF PEACE? The gift of Jesus is wrapped and waiting for you to open. It’s a free gift with no strings attached—ready for you to receive. 

“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 

By Kristy Ensor

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