During the Christmas season, I find my thoughts and daily rhythms are directed more readily toward Christ and God at work in my life and in the lives around me. It just feels like a season of miracles and my heart is perpetually on my sleeve. I can’t listen to Christmas songs without feeling all the feels and my kids lovingly tease me that I’m gushy. I absolutely love it. I’m so overwhelmed by the magnitude of God coming to earth to save us that I can’t hardly stand it. I am a completely different person because of that night so long ago.
One of our family traditions growing up was to read the story of the birth of Jesus in the Bible, then each of us would say something we are thankful for. At the end my dad would pray.
I love hearing my dad pray. He approaches talking with God with such confidence, the way one would after years of conversations and steadfast relationship. There is no sign of hesitation, no doubt in his voice that he is seen, heard and loved by God Himself.
He always begins his prayers, “Our Heavenly Father, we praise your name.” It’s modeled after the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13.It is something that I still admire to this day and often begin my own prayers by addressing my Heavenly Father.
When I was little I’d try to imagine what our Heavenly Father looked like. I remembered our family prayers and that God is our Heavenly Father. I couldn’t picture what that looked like exactly, He seemed so ethereal and intangible, so naturally, I imagined my Dad. He is a good Dad, much like I would expect God to be. So my picture of God looked like a gentle and kind Latino man who makes the best pancakes and does great Monty Python impressions.
As I grew up, I learned about Jesus, but I honestly never thought of him as a father type. A friend, comforter, wise person, and sacrificially loving to the point of giving His own life for mine. But “father” never really occurred to me.
So when I first heard the names given to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6-7 of Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, I struggled to connect a bit with the title of Everlasting Father. I just had never related to Jesus that way.
The more I studied the Bible, the more I began to understand that Jesus is a complete reflection of God’s character and nature. He is Emmanuel, God with us. God in flesh, come to earth to reveal His character and nature to us. He can relate to all of our feelings, emotions, troubles and joys that we live daily. He has both an earthly perspective and an eternal one, making Him the perfect Everlasting Father. He can both relate to and guide us, empathize with us and care for us.
He is truly eternal, he’s always been here and always will be. In John 1:1-3 we see that not only was He present for the creation of all we see and know, all of creation was made through Jesus.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
Jesus also reflects God the Father in how he relates to everyone around him. The way he interacts and cares for people perfectly mirrors the love of The Father.
He is compassionate, showing mercy and tenderness. He calls the little children to him and nurtures their faith. (Matthew 19:14)
He holds us accountable and spurs us on to live a life that is right with God, the way a good father does. (John 8:1-11)
- Jesus sits with us when we are hurting and cares for us in our time of need. (John 11:1-41)
He encourages us to step out in faith, yet is there when we need rescuing. (Matthew 14:22-33)
He loves us so much that when we were still sinners, he took our place on the cross, redeeming us and saving us from death. (Romans 5:6-8)
Then he conquered death so that we will neer be separated from Him again. (Romans 8:34-39)
These are just a few examples and stories where we see Jesus loving, serving and living as the Everlasting Father. He demonstrates the character of our Heavenly Father over and over, in every word of healing and every act of compassion.
Jesus, The Everlasting Father is a tangible, relatable reflection of our Heavenly Father. When we try to picture God the Father, we need look no further than Jesus. What’s even better, is that as we get to know him, we can better recognize Him at work around us.
This Christmas, as you turn your thoughts toward Christ, lean into the arms of The Everlasting Father. Let Him comfort you and care for you. Trust in Him, knowing that He is faithful and there to rescue you when you need it most. The more time you spend with Him, The Everlasting Father becomes even more familiar and comforting, so that when you go to pray, you can approach Him with confidence and without a doubt that you are seen, heard and loved. So very much.