Kethoser (Aniu) Kevichusa is Speaker and Trainer with RZIM Life Focus Society.
In 2014, the Government of India declared December 25 as “Good Governance Day”. The declaration was made to mark and honour the birthday of the former Prime Minister of India, AtalBihari Vajpayee. As all are aware, that day is also Christmas Day, the birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Whatever else one thinks of the decision and declaration, there is an ironic aptness to it. Writing around 700 BC, a prophet in the Bible, called Isaiah, predicted the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ thus: “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 Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6).
This little verse encapsulates the identity, the responsibility, and the authority of the Christ of Christmas. Who is Jesus Christ? In response to that question, this verse talks about His humanity, His divinity, and His royalty. The birth of the child refers to Christ’s humanity. Jesus Christ was fully human, born as other humans. He was born as a human, experiencing the experiences – including, the mad, the bad, and the sad – that we humans experience.
If the verse refers to Christ’s humanity, it also refers to His divinity. Although the child was born, the son was not; the son was given. This is so because Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, whose eternal identity is that of divinity. Jesus Christ was not a man who became God. He was God who became a man. He was not just another human being sharing the experiences of humankind. He was God entering and experiencing human life in all its glory and gore.
The verse is also a jubilant annunciation of the birth of a long-awaited heir to a throne. It is the proclamation of a town crier, heralding the birth of the King. With Christmas, the ruler of the world has come, and “the government shall be upon His shoulder”.
The names of Christ also reveal the various facets of His role and His rule. He is called “Wonderful Counsellor”. This means that the birth of Christ marks the end of confusion, and the possibility of wise living. As “Mighty God”, Christ is the final and ultimate revelation of the reality and nature of God. As “Everlasting Father”, Christ’s role is to guard, to guide, and to provide. And He is the “Prince of Peace”, born to usher in true peace – peace in the right order; peace in the fullest sense. As Christian mystic Thomas Merton says, “Man is not at peace with his fellow man because he is not at peace with himself. And he is not at peace with himself because he is not at peace with God.”
No confusion and chaos (Wonderful Counsellor); no comparison and competition (Mighty God); no contention and conflict (Prince of Peace); but compassion and comfort (Everlasting Father). This is the nature of the Government of Christ. Christ’s Government is also upheld “with justice and with righteousness”, and “of the increase of His Government and of peace there will be no end” (Isaiah chapter 9, verse 7). It is, in other words, a Government without corruption and without cessation. How appropriate indeed that Christmas Day has now been made “Good Governance Day”!