For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end.
Most English translations say “and the government shall be on his shoulder.” In our culture when we say the word “government,” the image that may come to mind is the temporary nature of it. Admittedly, Governments rise and fall. The reality is if we don’t like who is in office now, we wait a few years and vote in someone else. Let’s face it many have become cynical about Government, especially presently, and many also don’t believe government can really do anything.
This cultural view of the word “government” waters down the intensity of what the Scripture is saying. What today’s reading is saying is that this child, this son that is given, will carry "The weight of the world on his shoulders." What a great message this is. This is a profound truth, GOOD NEWS especially for those of us who feel like we're bearing the full weight of the world on our own shoulders.
As Ray Pritchard wrote, “Are you worn out from trying to solve every problem, help your children, take care of your parents, get your coworkers shaped up, and in general trying to fix your siblings and parents and roommates and friends and neighbors? Are you exhausted from trying to repair all the broken people and the messed up situations all around you?” No wonder you feel overwhelmed and worn out and exhausted.
What beautiful shoulders they are that Isaiah 9 speaks about. Shoulders that lend His strength to the weak and sick. Shoulders that bear burdens. Shoulders that carry us in hard places. Shoulders that picked up a cross and carried it on our behalf. Shoulders that lean forward to pick up a fallen one. Shoulders to lay our head on when our heart aches. Shoulders that embrace us tenderly with love that never lets go. He is more than enough, for whatever may be happening in your life right now. Lean into Him. As Psalm 37 puts it,
“Roll upon Jehovah your way,”
“Lord Jesus, master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!” (Henri J. M. Nouwen)