Light the Candle of Faith
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
This week’s candle is called the Faith Candle. It reminds us of our faith in the Mighty God who sent his Son to earth. We believe God will come again and we are to prepare for his judgment of sin through our faith in his death and resurrection which give us peace with God.
Mighty God in Isaiah 9:6 is “El Gibhor.” This Call Sign means Mighty Warrior God. Gibhor means strong or mighty. In 2 Samuel 23:8, King David’s men were described as “Gibhor” or “mighty warriors.” Putting El in front of Gibhor means Mighty Warrior God. Jesus will be the Mighty Warrior, The Champion. He always prevails, even in death. His death on the cross looked like Satan won, but in fact, Jesus broke the power of death. He championed death.
When Herod tried to kill Jesus as a baby, God spoke to Joseph in a dream to move to Egypt. They moved after Epiphany, the wise men’s visit to worship Jesus. Even as a baby, Jesus triumphed.
‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. Jeremiah 32:17-19
In the passage, God is called Elohim, Yahweh, El Gibhor, Yahweh Sabaoth, and El Roi. He is the Creator, The Great I am, The Great and Mighty God, The Lord of Hosts, and God who sees all in one passage. Isaiah 9:6 reminds us Jesus is all of these.
In Deuteronomy 10:17a, Moses describes God as “the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God.” In Nehemiah 9:32, Nehemiah describes God as great, mighty, awesome, covenant-keeping, and full of steadfast love.
As we prepare for Christmas and Christ’s second coming, we have faith and peace because of our Mighty God. He is stronger, greater, more loving, more gracious…more. More than we can imagine. He will breathe into us His peace and strength as we go through this hectic time of year.
Last week we discussed the lighting of the Prophecy candle, the one directly across from the pink candle. This week we light the Faith candle which is the next one going counterclockwise. We go counterclockwise to set apart our traditions from the winter solstice tradition. During this week, my family lights both the Prophecy and the Faith candles daily.
El Gibhor, Mighty God, reminds us who controls our life. When my life seems to spin out of control, Isaiah 9:6 grounds me. I repeat it when I am in crowds, looking for parking spaces, or just trying to find rest time between all the activities. As I do, He breathes life and strength into my weary soul.
Throughout the story of Jesus’ birth, Mighty God is active and working. He brought Joseph and Mary together; their lineages trace back to David. He protects them on their journey to Bethlehem. Imagine being pregnant and traveling on foot or on a donkey to a new town. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, to fulfill prophecies. He is our Mighty God.
Our Mighty God will return triumphantly. Advent reminds us of Jesus’ birth as well as His Second coming. He is the Mighty God who will return in triumph, power, and glory.
Verses to discuss:
Micah 5:2, 4
Hymns to sing with your family:
We Three Kings
O Little Town of Bethlehem
O Come All Ye Faithful
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