For a child has been born to us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. — Isaiah 9:6

As we have been learning on our journey through Advent, this is a time of waiting and preparation. The herald of this verse from today’s passage, Isaiah 9:1-7, provides a picture of what we are awaiting. While Isaiah foretells his names of omnipotence, today we are anticipating the babe in human form. As humans ourselves, we can relate to this baby, and like so many humans in the world today, he comes as a refugee in a country in strife.

In the hustle and bustle of this time of year, I find that I must quiet myself to appreciate and prepare for the incredible gift that God is giving us in His Son. Advent is about stilling ourselves so we can welcome and appreciate this gift, which is so much more than any earthly present from Macy’s or Target. To appreciate it, we must accept it in our lives.

Today we await and prepare for the gift of the babe. We must also remember that our waiting will move to action as we experience Him as Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. While Advent may be over on December 24, the amazing gift we receive on that day will keep on giving—if only we are willing to receive it.