6 "For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this."
The Presence of Christ
by Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
The words of Isaiah 9:6-7 convey an astonishing prophecy — that a child has been born who, as the messiah, will unite God with all of humanity through the Lord Jesus Christ. They are words of great joy, consolation and hope.
These verses from the prophet Isaiah also remind us that the presence of Jesus in our lives comes in many forms. He is our “Everlasting Father” and the “Prince of Peace.” From him we gain the strength of unwavering love, such as that between a parent and child, and the blessings of stability and serenity.
Jesus is also a “Wonderful Counselor,” providing guidance and perspective when we feel like we have lost our way or find ourselves facing an important decision in our lives.
The other honorific title Isaiah uses to describe the messiah is “Mighty God.” As Christians, we worship an omnipotent God. His power is absolute and everlasting. His presence in the created world, and in our individual lives, is unbounded and eternal.
In my own life, I have found God in sometimes unexpected times and places, from moments of happy surprise to challenging experiences. There are also instances when, during an ordinary morning, we discover God’s presence in a simple act of kindness or a compassionate conversation. I am frequently reminded that we must be ready to encounter our Heavenly Father whenever and wherever His divine plan requires.
In serving as president of Baylor University, I am grateful that a central component of my leadership is to foster the presence of Christ on our campus, whether in developing strategic plans for the University’s growth or in providing opportunities for spiritual growth among our students, faculty and staff. As a Christian university, we are blessed with the ability to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ into the world and to regularly gather together in worshipping Him.
Our Christian faith is rooted in hope — both in the now and the hereafter. Each day is an opportunity to be filled with optimism and the “zeal of the Lord” as we interact with others and work for the betterment of the surrounding world. We also find that hope fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I pray that this Advent will be a time of hopeful preparation for the celebration of our Lord’s birth at Christmas and a period of warm togetherness with your friends and family.
Learn More About Our Guest Writer
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., is the 15th president of Baylor University. Dr. Livingstone is a strong voice for the role of faith-based institutions in American higher education. She is a scholar and extensively published author in the areas of organizational behavior, leadership and creativity. Dr. Livingstone has set the University on a course that integrates academic, teaching and research excellence with an uncompromising Christian identity and positions the University to have a transformative impact on our students, on higher education and the world.
As Baylor’s president, Dr. Livingstone has overseen the development of Baylor’s academic strategic plan, Illuminate, which details Baylor’s pursuit of becoming a preeminent Christian research university, and the $1.1 billion comprehensive campaign that undergirds Illuminate, called Give Light.