I love that the Christmas season kicks off right after Thanksgiving because it gives me an excuse to listen to Christmas music for a whole month. Right at the top of my preferred Christmas music list are hymns with lyrics taken from portions of scripture.
One of the hymns that I learned as a young lad was “For unto Us a Child Is Born.” I didn’t know it at the time, but the music was written by George Frederick Handel in 1741, and the lyrics were taken from Isaiah 9:6:
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
The Mighty God
The Everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace.
Digging into Isaiah 9:6 we see it is rich with meaning as it refers to the Second Advent; the second coming of Jesus Christ:
“For unto us a child is born” speaks to the humanity of the Messiah.
“Unto us a Son is given” speaks to the deity of the Messiah given to the nation of Israel.
“And the government will be upon His shoulder” refers to the Second Advent; the second coming of Jesus Christ when he will reign as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
“And his name shall be called” begins a list of four attributes of Messiah’s character.
“Wonderful Counselor” The word “Wonderful” is a noun, not an adjective. “Wonderful” is His name. “Counselor,” Messiah will exhibit wisdom in His government and is the ultimate counselor to mankind.
“The Mighty God” This speaks to Messiah’s omnipotence as the supreme Ruler of the universe.
“The Everlasting Father” He is the creator, eternal, and a loving Father, He confers everlasting life on those who believe in Him.
“The Prince of Peace” The Messiah will bring peace into the world.
When we understand and appreciate the depth of meaning in this one verse, it is easy to see why Handel selected it to be part of the Messiah oratorio.
Watch the video below if you would like to listen to an incredible performance of Handel’s Messiah, “For unto As a Child Is Born” conducted by Sir Colin Davis, with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Join the Conversation
As always, questions and comments are welcome. What is your favorite Christmas hymn? What does it mean to you?
I’d love your help. This blog is read primarily because people like you share it with friends. Would you share it by pressing one of the share buttons below?
Category: Personal Development | Character